For some time now we’ve been following the development of the Candela C-8 electric hydrofoil boat, whose Swedish manufacturer says is the fastest electric speedboat in the world. Or at least it will be, once it makes its maiden voyage later this winter.
However, the €290,000 premium electric hydrofoil boat remains out of the reach of all but the most elite of boat owners. But what if you didn’t have to own one just to enjoy it? That’s what Candela is making possible thanks to a new partnership with the Agapi Boat Club.
Think of Agapi like car or bike-sharing, except with boats. And really nice, luxury boats at that.
For a subscription fee (which varies depending on the city but starts somewhere around €4,000 or US $4,500 per year), members can take out a wide range of boats that they probably couldn’t afford to own otherwise.
And the Candela C-8 is set to become the first proper electric speedboat in Agapi’s offering.
As the company announced today:
“With longer range and higher cruise speed than any other electric craft on the market, the hydrofoiling Candela C-8 is the dream boat for those who seek to explore the oceans in absolute silence. And while the C-8 is sold out for 2022, it will soon be available for boat sharing in Stockholm and Mallorca through Agapi Boat Club.”
While Agapi operates in Sweden, Spain, Finland, Greece, and the UK, it appears that just the first two will get to experience the C-8, at least initially.
High demand for the Candela C-8 is one of the main reasons that the company is looking forward to incorporating the boat into Agapi’s boat sharing.
As Candela’s CEO Gustav explained:
“We see that demand for the Candela C-8 is extremely high. By offering the C-8 for sharing, more people can experience the thrill of electric hydrofoiling, which is in line with our mission of decarbonizing leisure boating.”
Unlike most electric boats (or gas-powered boats, for that matter), Candela’s boats ride on underwater wings known as hydrofoils. They lift the boat out of the water and help reduce its energy usage by around 80% compared to planing boats.
Those efficiency gains can be nice for conventional boats, but they are game-changers for electric boats that have long been hampered by the need to load up on large and expensive batteries to obtain a reasonable electric range.
Candela says the C-8 is five times more efficient than other electric boats.
And that higher efficiency allows the designers to add in more features without the same weight penalty that would impact other boats. Unlike the Candela C-7 that I had the chance to test out in Stockholm (check out the video below), the C-8’s larger size allows for a sleeping cabin, bathroom with shower, large sun bed, and cockpit for eight passengers.
This makes perfect sense to me. Boats sit around most of the time when their owners aren’t actively using them. And I’m sure plenty of people would love to enjoy a luxury electric boat, but just don’t have several hundred thousand bucks burning a hole in their pocket.
And even for those that do, all the other expenses and headaches associated with boat ownership eventually stack up as well. Boat ownership is far from hassle-free.
But that’s just what Agapi describes itself as: hassle-free.
They of course don’t just have electric boats, and in fact most of their boats are gas-powered right now (except for that awesome electric surfboard!). But that’s true of the entire boating industry. Being able to offer electric boats as part of a sharing program can help convince boaters that try them that it is worth making the switch.
And even for those that just want to enjoy the occasional fun Sunday afternoon cruise, I’d much rather see them doing it on a clean and quiet electric boat that isn’t dirtying up the waterways.
As awesome as the Candela C-8 looks, I had always assumed that most people who were interested in it would never get the chance to experience it. But this changes the game and lets us mere mortals get the chance to take out a fancy pants premium electric boat.
Imagine if we had something like this for all the premium electric cars and motorcycles out there. I’d love to joyride in a new Tesla Roadster one day, but they probably won’t be hanging around on every corner with the key cards in them. But if ZipCar had Roadsters, you better believe I’d sign up.
And that’s what we’ve got here – A way for normies like you and me to experience premium electric boating without a premium bank account.
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