Candela reveals world’s longest-range production electric boat, now with Polestar batteries

Candela and Polestar announced a partnership in August of last year that would see automotive-grade EV batteries hit the seas in long-range electric boats. Now that day has come as the two Swedish companies show off the fruits of their partnership with the new Candela C-8 “Powered by Polestar”.

Candela’s 8.5 meter (28 ft) C-8 electric boat has already been in the works for some time now, marking a significant upgrade over the previous C-7.

The C-8 uses hydrofoiling technology controlled by high precision custom-designed flight control software that allows the boat to fly nearly a meter above the surface of the water. That significantly reduces the boat’s drag by taking the hull out of the water, using around 80% less energy than conventional boats. With higher efficiency, the C-8 can go farther with a smaller battery pack and less powerful motors than most other electric powerboats.

Now with the new C-8 Powered by Polestar, that range is getting an even larger bump. The new model’s range rating now stands at 57 nautical miles (65 miles or 105 kilometers) per charge at a cruising speed of 22 knots (25 mph or 40 km/h). The C-8 can reach a top speed of 30 knots (34 mph or 55 km/h), though with reduced range at maximum speed.

It’s not just a longer range that the 69 kWh Polestar batteries are bringing to Candela’s boats, but also the ability to use DC fast charging to quickly replenish the battery. When not using DC fast charging, the boat will charge via Polestar’s 11 kW three-phase AC charging.

According to Candela, the 57 nautical mile range is “2 to 3 times longer than what conventional electric speedboats can achieve at high speed and compares favorably with uses cases of internal combustion engine powerboats.”

As Candela’s founder and CEO Gustav Hasselskog expanded:

“This collaboration means that C-8 can travel to destinations previously only reachable by combustion engine boats. The Candela C-8 powered by Polestar marks a significant breakthrough for electrification at sea.

Candela expects that range to be sufficient for most boaters. The company shared that usage data from Europe’s premier boat-sharing service Agapi shows that 95% of their members’ day excursions are less than 50 nautical miles, or well within the range of the 8-passenger Candela C-8.

For boaters who need longer range or want to recharge and get back out on the water quickly, the new DC fast charging feature should prove quite attractive.

As Hasselskog continued:

“With access to DC fast chargers, which now start to pop up on several coasts around the globe, you can cover totally new routes with Candela C-8. You can go from Sweden to Finland in one day, or along the whole French Riviera in a few hours. For a few euros/dollars’ worth of electricity.”

This marks a first for Polestar, which has made Candela the first third-party company to receive Polestar batteries and charging systems. But, it’s part of a broader partnership between the two EV companies in advance of the C-8 Powered by Polestar production in the first half of 2023.

As Polestar’s CEO Thomas Ingenlath explained:

“Sharing know-how on batteries and vehicle engineering with Candela will help reach our shared goal of transitioning to a future where all forms of transport are sustainable.”

Electrek’s Take

This definitely makes sense for Candela. They’re an incredible boat maker, but batteries aren’t their forte. So teaming up with a fellow Swedish EV company that does have battery expertise seems logical.

And, the fact that it makes the boats longer range and brings in fast charging ability only further sweetens the deal.

I haven’t tested the new C-8 with Polestar batteries, but I did take an early C-8 prototype for a spin in an eye-opening test-ride experience last summer. Check it out in my video below.

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