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Swedish High-Tech Electric Ferry Sets New Public Transport Standard

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Cities worldwide view clean and efficient public transportation as a key strategy for reducing carbon emissions.  For cities with waterways, a high-tech Swedish ferry could soon set a new standard. 

The Candela P-12, an electric passenger ferry, stands out for its speed, mode of navigation, and efficiency. Once it reaches a speed of 16 knots or 30 kilometres per hour, the Candela rises 1.5 meters above the water surface and glides on an aerodynamic wing, similar to an ultra-fast sports sailboat, without creating any noise or waves.

The ferry’s creators hope that this vessel, unveiled this week, will usher in a new era of water-based public transport. 

Designed to carry 30 passengers at a maximum speed of 30 knots (56 km/h) – significantly faster than other electric passenger ferries – it achieves this with hydrofoil wings made of carbon fibre, lifting the boat above the water and reducing drag.

This technology reportedly cuts energy per passenger kilometre by 95% compared to diesel boats currently ferrying passengers across Stockholm’s picturesque archipelago. Another benefit is the exemption from Stockholm’s 12-knot speed limit, as the vessel leaves no wake or waves, which can flood other boats or erode the shore at higher speeds.

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Commercial use of the ferry is scheduled to begin in May 2024, operating between Ekero Island and central Stockholm. The journey will take just 25 minutes, compared to the current 55 minutes. The Candela P-12 costs around 1.7 million euros, and the manufacturer expects a service life of 30 years with battery replacements. The ferry has a range of up to 50 nautical miles (about 90 kilometres) on a single charge. Its battery is four times more powerful than that of a typical electric car.

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