Meridian Energy in New Zealand has ordered a P-12 electric hydrofoiling ferry from Swedish Candela. Meridian will be the first customer outside Europe to take delivery of the electric shuttle ferry.

The ferry will be deployed Lake Manapōuri and provide daily transport for the staff and contractors servicing the country’s largest hydro power station, Manapōuri Power Station. It is expected to save 240 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Tania Palmer, Meridian’s GM of Generation, says it’s one way the company is reducing its emissions from internal transport, contributing to Meridian’s goal of halving its emissions by 2030: ‘The Candela P-12 is an exciting replacement for the diesel ferry we currently use to transport people across the lake to the power station. It’ll drastically reduce emissions and, at the same time, give our team what’s arguably the best and most spectacular commute in the world.’

Also read: Sweden to trial Candela’s electric ‘flying’ ferry for public transport

Flying on hydrofoils

Flying on computer-guided hydrofoils, the P-12’s hull rises above the water at high speed, which reduces energy consumption by eighty per cent when compared to traditional vessels, and allows for long range and high-speed travel using battery power only. Boasting the highest top speed and longest range of any electric ferry, it also provides many environmental benefits. At a cruise speed of 25 knots, the wake behind the vessel is less than 15 cm high, which will minimise disruption to the shoreline of Lake Manapōuri – part of a UNESCO World Heritage Area and home to many indigenous species, including longfin eel.

The P-12 is stabilised in real-time by a computer system — a Flight controller which prevents the motion-sickness inducing pitching and slamming found in other ships. The Flight controller uses sensors to measure the wave height in front of the vessel, and then adjusts the hydrofoils’ angle of attack 100 times per second to provide a smooth ride over them.

The Candela P-12 is expected to begin operating on Lake Manapouri in 2025.

Candela P-12 ferry pilot

After launching the best-selling C-8 leisure boat in 2019, Candela is now wants to revolutionise commuting with the P-12 ferry, which was launched three months ago. The first P-12 Shuttle will join Stockholm city’s fleet of public transportation ferries in 2024 in a pilot, on the main routes.

The pilot will run throughout 2024 and evaluate the P-12’s performance, in terms of manoeuvrability, comfort, chargeability, wake, and noise. With a speed of between 20-30 knots and built for optimal boarding, the current bus and subway commute on a number of routes can be halved.

Given reduced energy consumption, low maintenance needs, and possibility to increase passenger volumes, Candela estimates that operational costs will be reduced by at least forty per cent.

P-12 particulars

  • Length: 12 metres
  • Beam: 4.5 metres
  • Capacity: 30 passengers, seated
  • Battery: 254 kWh
  • Motors: 2 x Candela C-POD
  • Top speed: 30 knots
  • Cruise speed: 25 knots
  • Range: 50 nautical miles at 25 knots

Also read: Watch Candela’s fully electric hydrofoil boat in action