• Tech Tech

World's first electric flying passenger ship could drastically cut commute times: 'It will revolutionize how we travel'

"It's like riding a magic carpet, basically."

"It's like riding a magic carpet, basically."

Photo Credit: Candela

A hydrofoil electric ferry is set to begin transporting passengers in Sweden later this year, transforming a 55-minute commute from the suburb of Ekerö to Stockholm's city center into a much more exciting and speedy 25-minute commute.

The vehicle, from Swedish tech company Candela Technology AB, has completed testing and is now set to enter the production phase. The Candela P-12 shuttle can transport 30 passengers at once, reaching maximum speeds of 30 miles per hour, with a range of 50 miles.

"It will revolutionize how we travel on water," Candela CEO Gustav Hasselskog said in a statement.

Hydrofoil boats use a specially shaped hull to lift the boat off the surface of the water as it gains speed, reducing drag and enhancing speed and fuel efficiency. As such, they have become favored by some manufacturers who are seeking to create the most energy-efficient possible watercraft.   

As a result of the technology, the boats are essentially flying just above the surface of the water. "When you have space in front of you and you throttle up and take off, you are subject to the same physical principles as an airplane during flight," said a driver during a video released by Candela that shows the boat in action. "It's like riding a magic carpet, basically."

According to Candela, the Candela P-12 can use 80% less energy than traditional vessels when moving at speeds in excess of 21 miles per hour. Combined with the fact that the boats run on electricity instead of gas, this type of hydrofoil could well be the water vessel of the future.

Candela also hopes to use the ferry to relieve pressure on Sweden's roadways. 

"Today, in many cities, congested roads are common, while waterways — humanity's oldest transport infrastructure — remain underutilized for rapid commuting," Hasselskog said. "The P-12 will let you use these waterways as green highways, enabling fast intra-city connections. Often, the quickest route is by water."

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