Polestar to supply batteries for electric boats that ‘fly’ over water

The Candela boat photographed in Sweden in August 2021. Candela uses hydrofoils that lift the hull of the vessel above the surface of the water while moving.

Mikael Schoberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Luxury electric car maker Polestar will supply batteries and charging systems for electric boat company Candela after the two Swedish companies signed a multi-year deal.

Polestar said in a statement Tuesday that the deal represents the start of a “broader envisaged partnership” between it and Candela. Both companies, he said, “are committed to exploring further opportunities for future collaboration.”

In its own statement, Candela, which has offices in Stockholm and Sausalito, Calif., said the agreement will allow it to “use state-of-the-art automotive battery technology and increase production” of its electric boats.

Candela, founded in 2014, uses hydrofoils, part of a kit that lifts the boat’s hull above the surface of the water as it moves. The business describes its zero-emissions C-8 and P-8 Voyagers as “flying” over water at 30 knots, or about 34.5 mph.

He adds that his hydrofoil technology could reduce the power consumption of powerboats by as much as 80%.

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Candela said the Polestar deal reflects an attempt to overcome the hurdles associated with boat electrification. These included what he called “the prohibitively high cost of marine batteries for electric boats.”

He added that to date, electric boat manufacturers have tended to “rely on smaller boutique marine battery vendors. The scarcity and high unit cost of these batteries are two factors that have prevented electric boats from reaching parity with combustion-powered boats.”

By partnering with Polestar and using its resources – Polestar is founded by Volvo Cars and China’s Geely Holding – it is hoped that this problem can be overcome.

“To make electric boats popular, we need to build thousands of boats every year,” said Candela CEO Gustav Hasselskog.

“Working together with Polestar, we can shift world-class manufacturing and development from the automotive industry to the marine sector,” said Hasselskog.

Maritime transport is no different from other modes of transport in that it has a significant impact on the environment. Efforts to address this issue are being made in several ways.

Brittany Ferries, for example, said in June that a vessel designed to carry passengers between the UK and France over the next few years would be the largest hybrid ship ever built.

In a statement at the time, the company said the Saint-Malo vessel would have an 11.5 megawatt-hour battery. He added that this is “roughly double what is typically used for marine hybrid propulsion.”

The idea behind hybrid ships is that they can run on liquefied natural gas – fossil fuels – on a battery pack or a combination of the two.

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