‘Flying’ electric speedboat makes debut on Swiss lakes
Image credit: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
An electric-powered hydrofoil speedboat that reduces energy consumption, noise, and seasickness by 'flying' above the waves has made its debut on lakes in Switzerland.
Claimed to be a world-first, the Candela Seven can hit speeds of 55km/h when its foils lift it out of the water. Its manufacturers, called Candela, say it travels further and smoother than other electric boats.
The foils reduce water friction – and the effect of waves slamming into the boat – cutting energy consumption by 80 per cent compared to normal diesel-powered boats and extending the craft’s range to 90km (56 miles).
The carbon-fibre boat also carries an on-board computer that automatically adjusts the foil positions 100 times per second to reduce rolling and sea-sickness, according to the manufacturers.
“Because we don’t have any waves hitting, we don’t have any slamming or bumping around and you really have a quiet, smooth ride,” said Swiss importer Christian Vogel.
As of late, electric boats have tended to sacrifice either speed or range. This is because of the capacity limits of their batteries.
The Candela Seven made its Swiss debut on Lake Lucerne this week, with Candela Speed Boat hoping to drum up new business with a European tour. Since last year, the Stockholm-based company has delivered 16 boats.
According to Vogel, the boat, which costs around €250,000 (£223,000), would be a good fit for Switzerland’s lakeside cities like Zurich, Lucerne and Geneva.
“People could use it to commute across lakes or for day trips,” he said. “You can drive this with a clean conscience from an environmental point of view, and it’s great fun.”
With experience from fighter jet and aeroplane design, the manufacturers said they have made the Candela Seven extremely light, while still highly impact resistant. They added that the hull, deck and deck parts are carefully crafted from 100 per cent carbon fibre.
Candela also said it makes a large percentage of the components in its own factory in the Stockholm archipelago, where it assembles and performs final testing of the speedboats.
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