Candela’s Electric Speedboats are Coming to New Zealand
Candela's hydrofoiling electric boats are coming to New Zealand through a partnership with local company Next Generation Boats. The first Candela C-7 speedboat is expected to arrive in early April 2022 followed by the bigger C-8 at the end of the year.
New Zealand has one of the highest levels of recreational boating activity per capita in the world. This doesn’t always mix well with the country’s pristine marine habitats due to increasing negative impacts from emissions, wake and noise pollution from conventional engines in power boats.
The problem – until now – has been that no electric motor boat has been able to offer the elusive combination of high speed and long range that boaties are used to in their ICE craft. Boat hulls are heavy and need huge amounts of energy at high speeds, so even the best lithium-ion batteries get drained after a very short time of spirited driving.
This issue is something that the Swedish tech company Candela intends to address with their revolutionary, hydrofoiling electric speedboats – which are now coming to New Zealand.
Stockholm-based Candela has quickly gained worldwide fame for cracking the code to long-range electric craft. Flying on computer-stabilized underwater wings (hydrofoils) Candela’s novel day cruiser Candela C-8 and sportsboat Candela C-7 use only a fraction of the energy conventional motorboats need at speeds of 30 knots. Once foilborne, Candela’s boats can travel for 2 - 2,5 hours at a speed of 20 knots and cover 50 nautical miles of range. The active hydrofoil system allows the boat to fly over waves without causing discomfort to its passengers, whereas conventional boats would be slamming and throwing lots of spray around. The on-board computer automatically adjusts pitch, roll and height to account for side winds, waves and people moving around in the boat.
In addition to record-setting range and performance, Candela's boats are respectful of the marine environment. Since the hull flies above the water, a Candela boat uses 80% less energy than conventional boats, which translates not only into longer range but also to an almost non-existent wake behind the boat. At 25 knots, a Candela craft creates a tiny 5cm wave and therefore causes minimal disturbance to shorelines and marine habitats.
The Candela C-Pod submerged pod drive is whisper quiet, even at cruising speeds of 20-25 knots.
These unique features have led C-8 to become Europe’s best-selling electric craft, with over 100 orders for the €300 000 ($520 000 NZD), all-carbon fiber daycruiser since its launch last fall. The C-8 has been hailed as the boat industry's "iPhone moment", and is often compared to Tesla cars.
Candela is now expanding its presence in the Southern Hemisphere with a partner in New Zealand – Next Generation Boats based out of Wanaka on the South Island.
“New Zealand is at the forefront of sustainability in so many ways. One-third of the land area is protected in parks and reserves. Kiwi conservation workers are at the forefront of species management. Renewables account for much of the energy generation. So it feels great that Candela can contribute to the great work New Zealand is doing to keep its pristine waters clean,” says Gustav Hasselskog, founder and CEO of Candela.
“Electric boats are ideal for the New Zealand market. More than 80% of our electricity generation comes from renewable sources and there are many pristine lakes, harbors and estuaries to be enjoyed aboard an eco-friendly, low impact boat,” says Kostya Marchenko, founder and CEO of Next Generation Boats.
“With 50 nautical miles of range you can easily do a lap around Waiheke island in the Hauraki Gulf and explore its many fine vineyards and beautiful sandy beaches. At 22 knots of cruising speed you will get there faster and in more comfort than on a ferry. In fact with such an amazing range you can easily cover most spots in the Bay of Islands, go from Queenstown to Glenorchy and back or travel the whole length of lake Wanaka, twice. With Candela boats range anxiety is a thing of the past” says Kostya Marchenko.
Although Candela’s craft are the world’s first electric hydrofoil boats, foiling is not new to New Zealand’s boaters. The AC72 catamarans and AC75 monohulls of America’s Cup Teams have been flying here for a number of years all while all sorts of foiling watersports such as kite/wing/wind foiling are rapidly growing in popularity.
“Electric vehicles are becoming a common sight on New Zealand roads, now it’s time to tackle the waterways and speed up decarbonization of the marine sector,” says Kostya Marchenko.