Candela’s C8 electric hydrofoil boat that glides over waves.

The Candela C-8 represents the future of sustainable waterborne mobility, achieving maximum efficiency, speed, and range with hydrofoils that allow it to silently fly above the water and waves.

Swedish company Candela unveiled the production version of its revolutionary electric hydrofoil C-8 watercraft at CES 2023–in Las Vegas on January 5, 2023.

The premium 28-foot craft, with a top speed of 30 knots and the ability to cruise for over two hours at 20 knots, is the first production day cruiser equipped with Candela’s electric hydrofoil system that reduces water friction by 80 percent. The hydrofoils are the key to cracking the code for electric-powered, long-range, high-speed travel at sea, which Candela believes will change boating forever.

The C-8 is a game changer in the electrification of boats. C-8 combines efficiency, comfort, and a minimal environmental impact.

“With the C-8, we set out to make the first no-compromise electric boat with maximum range and speed, but we’ve ended up with a new and improved class of craft, which also happens to be electric,” said Gustav Hasselskog, Candela’s founder, and CEO. “It’s a far superior experience to old-school hulls with combustion engines. Boaters no longer must contend with vomit-inducing pitching and slamming, or the deafening roar from revving outboard engines. Once you’ve experienced flying above the surface in absolute silence, it’s hard to go back.”

After the successful launch of its first electric hydrofoil boat, the limited series Candela C-7, in 2019, Candela’s 50-strong team of engineers spent two years perfecting the hydrofoil system and software to create the high-volume production C-8. At the heart of the technology is Candela’s C-Controller, an onboard computer that uses inputs from a variety of sensors to adjust the boat’s hydrofoils in real time to balance the craft in waves, wind, and different loads. Featuring a 100% carbon fiber hull, the C-8 is powered by the Candela C-POD, a specially designed, 55kW direct-drive electric motor that requires no scheduled maintenance for 2,000 hours.

Candela's C8 electric hydrofoil boat that glides over water surface

The hydrofoils can be retracted for entering shallow harbors or easy trailering, and in extreme wave heights, the boat can be driven as a traditional planing hull craft, albeit less efficiently. The C-8 has a draft of fewer than two feet with the hydrofoils retracted.

The C-8 features a large, comfortable cockpit with seating for eight, a large sunbed, a spacious front cabin equipped with beds for two adults and two kids, and a marine toilet. All settings on the C-8, from turning on the cooler to navigation, are controlled from the boat’s 15.4-inch touchscreen or remotely from the Candela app. The C-8 can be configured with a hard top, a T-top, or an open cockpit day cruiser and starts at $390,000.

Swedish electric car maker Polestar joined forces with Candela to provide battery and charging systems for Candela’s highly efficient flying boats. The battery deal will enable Candela to scale up production swiftly, bringing mass-market electric boats one step closer to reality.

Candela Polestar Battery

The deal will enabled Candela tap into state-of-the art automotive battery technology and scale up production of its best-selling electric boats.

By combining Polestar’s batteries with Candela’s pioneering electric hydrofoil technology, both companies aim to propel the growth of sustainable electric mobility in society.

The deal between the two Swedish companies is an attempt to overcome the two major hurdles for electrifying boating. The first hurdle is the massive energy consumption of conventional powerboat hulls, which so far has resulted in poor performance of electric boats. This obstacle has been cleared by Candela’s hydrofoil technology that cuts energy usage of powerboats by up to 80%.

Candela's C8 electric hydrofoil boat that glides over water surface

The second hurdle has been the prohibitively high cost of marine batteries for electric boats.

Electric boatbuilders typically have so far relied on smaller, boutique vendors of marine battery packs. Scarcity and high unit costs of these packs are two factors that have prevented electric boats from achieving parity with ICE vessels.

Polestar batteries also bring DC charging to the table, which means C-8 now combines the longest electric range with the fastest charging times. The result is the longest-range electric boat on the market, by a factor of two.

“Real change won’t come from people making selfless choices. People will only go for the sustainable option if it’s better and more fun. That’s how we can make a difference. Hence, the C-8 is climate action, made fun,”

said Hasselskog during the unveil at CES 2023
Candela's C8 electric hydrofoil boat that glides over water surface

While the C-8 is a “halo” leisure boat, Candela also has plans to transform public water transportation. Unveiled last summer in Venice, the Candela P-8 Voyager is designed to replace traditional water taxis and commercial passenger watercraft that create water pollution, engine noise, and waves that damage historical architecture.

Furthermore, the City of Stockholm will take delivery of the first Candela P-12, a 30-passenger, all-electric water shuttle in 2023. The company is in talks with over 100 other municipalities about water transportation solutions.