Electric vehicle news is usually about personal transportation. Tesla’s EVs tend to dominate coverage because they are the most popular. Increasingly, non-Tesla manufacturers have been launching their own offerings, such as Lucid, Rivian, and the Ford F-150 Lightning.
There is much more to electric vehicles though. Electrifying mass transit is even better in some ways environmentally because moving multiple people in one vehicle is more energy efficient. The electric boat manufacturer Candela, based in Sweden, will launch a 30-passenger all-electric water shuttle in 2023, the P-12. Electrifying ferries are an important step in the reduction of carbon emissions because conventional ferries typically use diesel engines that create very large amounts of toxic air pollution.
The P-12 will use the hydrofoil technology Candela has used in its personal electric watercraft. This technology allows its vessels to rise above the water surface and cruise quietly and smoothly while creating very little wake. The shuttle will transport passengers from the Stockholm city center to one of its suburbs, Ekerö, for a trial period. During rush hour traffic on land, traveling on the new shuttle will be faster for this trip.
Mikael Mahlberg, Candela’s Head of PR and Communications, answered some questions about the P-12 for CleanTechnica.
What is the cost of manufacturing one electric shuttle?
To be determined, but the price of P-12 Shuttle will be competitive with a similar-sized diesel vessel. However, the P-12 will be substantially cheaper to operate.
Who will buy and operate the shuttles?
The first unit will run with the Region of Stockholm, which conducts all public transport in Stockholm. If the trials are successful, they can replace all of their current diesel vessels (which are much bigger, 100-300 passengers) with a larger fleet of P-12’s. Since the average passenger load is just 17% on these big vessels, replacing fewer large vessels with more smaller vessels mean more frequent departures and lower costs. We currently have interest from a large number of public transport companies, as well as taxi/sightseeing/tour operators, along with real estate developers. Using fleets of P-12’s to connect boroughs would be a cost effective alternative to building a new bridges and motorway. So the P-12 really adds a new layer of mobility to cities.
What is the size of the motors?
Two Candela C-PODs will be used, the current version also used for Candela C-8 is rated at 55 kW. Which is a crazy little amount of power to propel this 30-person vessel.
What is the battery chemistry?
What is the expected lifespan for the shuttle?
We expect the same life span as a traditional vessel, at least 25-30 years.
About how many trips will the shuttle make in one day?
On the first route, Ekerö-Stockholm, our proposal is to use five P-12s to replace the two large 300-pax ferries currently servicing the route. That would mean one departure every 11 minutes, instead of every 50 minutes as today.
If multiple electric shuttles eventually replace diesel ferries, about how much less carbon emissions will be produced?
On the first route, the savings are expected to be 750 tonnes.
Will the shuttle recharge after every trip?
No, it can go four round trips on one charge, at least.
What kind of charger will the shuttle use and how long does it take to charge?
200 kW DC charging.
How long does it take to manufacture a shuttle and how many employees?
To be investigated – as production starts this fall. But we will serially produce this vessel, just like our leisure boats. Candela currently employs slightly more than 100 engineers and factory workers; we’re aiming to ramp up to 220 by the end of year.
How many shuttles can be manufactured in one year?
When ramping up production in our new factory in Rotebro, north of Stockholm, we’re aiming for a production of hundreds of shuttles a year.
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