BY APB Staff on 6 May 2024

The Candela P-12 was demonstrated for the first time at the 2024 Singapore Yachting Festival.

Candela P-12 ferry

Swedish electric boat manufacturer Candela is bringing its hydrofoiling P-12 ferry to Asia Pacific. The firm hopes the pioneering P-12 shuttle will provide a more sustainable alternative to using roads to transport goods and people by road.

The Candela P-12 was demonstrated for the first time at the recent Singapore Yachting Festival, which ran from 25 to 28 April 2024 at ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove. The festival coincided with the opening of Candela’s new APAC office.

“Across Asia and the Pacific, from archipelagos to cities, we see a huge market and demand for new sustainable transport solutions that can reduce congestion and emissions,” says Björn Antonsson, Candela’s regional CEO for Asia-Pacific. “Our technology offers quicker journeys, lower costs for operators, and zero emissions.”

Candela P-12 ferry

The first unit was launched last year in Stockholm, and a P-12 line will be operational in the city’s local transport system later in 2024. In Asia-Pacific, a P-12 line will be inaugurated in New Zealand in 2025, where Meridian will operate the ferry on the country’s pristine Lake Manapouri.

Computer-controlled wings beneath the hull allow the Candela P-12 Shuttle to fly above the water surface at high speeds, considerably reducing friction. It differs from all other fast ships – electric or diesel – by using up to 80-percent less energy than traditional ferries, according to Candela.

This technology allows for long-range water travel solely on battery power, a first in the industry. The firm says the P-12 is the first fast electric ferry with a long range—up to 100 kilometres on one charge, at a speed of 25 knots.

Ferries are expensive to run and often speed-restricted in urban waters due to the large, damaging wakes they create. Their diesel engines also spew harmful emissions, contributing to pollution and bad air quality.

Candela P-12 ferry

When flying, the P-12 generates no waves or noise, and its energy efficiency reduces operational costs compared to traditional ferries. Designed for multi-modal transport, the P-12 can accommodate 30 seated passengers and has storage for bikes and luggage.

A unique feature of the P-12 is that it generates minimal wake even at high speeds, which is why it has been exempted from speed restrictions on its maiden route in Stockholm. This reduces commuting times in Stockholm from 55 minutes by car to 25 minutes on the P-12.

“Shifting commuters from private vehicles and winning them back to the public transport system is a big challenge,” says Antonsson, who thinks that the Stockholm example can be replicated in cities across APAC.

Candela P-12 ferry

“It’s only possible by offering them better comfort, quicker commuter times, and more convenience. From electric cars to maglevs, many countries in the region have a history of leapfrogging conventional technology.”

“Waterways are humankind’s oldest transport infrastructure – cities are built around water, and with our technology, we can unlock its full potential for sustainable transport.”

In Asia-Pacific, Candela will also market and sell its leisure boat, the Candela C-8, which utilises the same hydrofoil technology and software as the P-12, and is the best-selling electric boat in Europe. 

Candela P-12 ferry

Antonsson adds: “We’re seeing very strong recreational boat markets in places like Australia and New Zealand, and the rest of the region is developing fast.” 

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