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I took a ride in an all electric speedboat that uses physics to glide above the water for a smooth, silent experience

It’s happening with cars, it’s happening with bikes and now boats might be next.

A startup named Candela out of Sweeden is building all-electric speedboats that use the power of physics to their advantage.

Recently, I went up to San Francisco to take a ride in one.

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The boat is 26 feet long and looks like your typical power boat, but it’s fully electric. The boat has a steering wheel, large touch screen and special software that controls pretty much every aspect of the experience.

I say the experience because riding in one of these boats is unlike anything you’ve ever done. At speed, the boat glides above the water.

The boat is equipped with hydrofoils, which are basically wings that extend under the boat and help push it up and out of the water. Think a boat on skis. This reduces the friction of the hull against the water and makes the entire system more energy efficient, which is key for an electric craft.

The Candela C-7 that I rode on can hold 6 people and travel at up to 30 knots max with a range of about 50 nautical miles. However, the optimal cruising speed is 22 knots, which is perfectly fast.

The C-7 gets out into open water the traditional way, with an electric motor pushing you out. Then, once you’re good to go, you use the controls to “take off.” Basically, the boat goes fast, the hydrofoils extend and the entire hull of the craft lifts up and out of the water so it’s sort of hovering above the surface.

It’s a super quiet ride and since the system is constantly making adjustments, it’s super smooth. In fact, sea sickness might be a thing of the past on board these boats.

The secret is in the software – Candela has engineered software that takes care of all of the hydrofoil calculations – to the tune of 100x a second.

“All the controls for the flight are automated… so it’s done by the computer… the only thing you have to do is steer the boat and look where you’re going,” explained Tanguy de Lamotte, CEO of Candela US.

While in motion, there is nearly no wake left behind the boat. When it’s time to go back to shore, the boat does a “landing,” where the hull splashes back down into the water.

It’s a ton of fun and even though we’ve been on the boat for a few hours, we still have about 80% charge to go.

Candela says they sold about 30 of the C-7 models, which they describe mostly as a prototype. A C-8 model is going to be delivered to buyers in the next few months.

Since the boats can cost north of $300,000, they’re certainly not ready for the mass market just yet.

But, Candela says they’re applying their tech to Ferry boats that could be used to transport people across water in an eco friendly way.

“I think it will happen, it’s just a matter of time and how much boats are going to become electric,” concluded de Lamotte.

All electric speedboat glides above the water for a smooth, quiet ride!

I took a ride in an all electric speedboat that uses physics to glide above the water for a smooth, silent experience