Candela’s P-12 Shuttle shows how to reduce commute time in US cities
Swedish electric marine company Candela is demonstrating its P-12 Shuttle on the Potomac River, Washington D.C., from October 9 to 15, showcasing how the electric hydrofoil shuttle could modernise urban transportation on waterways of United States cities by cutting travel times in half.
The Candela P-12 Shuttle is a 12-metre catamaran that skims across the water on computer-controlled foils. The 30-seat Shuttle is the world’s fastest electric ship, reaching up to 30 knots or 55 kph speeds. Using 80 percent less energy than conventional diesel vessels, it produces neither noise nor wake and costs much less.
By offering demo flights of the P-12 Shuttle to the media, the company hopes to show faster transit alternatives and new direct routes in cities across the U.S. For example, a P-12 Shuttle in Washington D.C. could get from Georgetown to Ronald Reagan Airport in just six minutes, compared to a 20-minute drive or a 40-minute public transit ride.
Similarly, New Yorkers could expect significantly shorter commute times if hydrofoil shuttles were available on the Hudson River.
“Most cities grapple with traffic congestion during peak hours while their waterways remain largely unused. Remembering that many of these cities originated around water, our vision is to convert these rivers, lakes and seas into new, sustainable highways,” said Candela founder and CEO Gustav Hasselskog.
Less commute, higher quality of life
Commuting time is an essential factor that affects people’s quality of life. Research shows that the average commuting time in developing countries has increased in recent years. Longer commute times lead to lower work and life satisfaction and health problems such as physical inactivity. However, better public transportation infrastructure can reduce commute times.
Candela’s electric hydrofoil shuttles could offer a solution to many of the problems with commuting. They are faster, more efficient, and more sustainable than traditional surface transportation. They could also reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in cities.
Stockholm will be the first city to incorporate the P-12 Shuttle into its public transport system in 2024. The P-12 Shuttle’s innovative design allows it to travel at high speeds without creating a wake, exempting it from speed restrictions in the city centre. This means the Shuttle can reduce travel time from Ekerö suburbs to central Stockholm from 55 minutes by car to 25 minutes.
While hydrofoil shuttles have yet to be a reality in most cities, Candela is progressing in bringing them to market. The company is working on the first three P-12 Shuttles and will ramp up production afterwards. The Shuttle is expected to be available in several cities when it hits the market, but Candela has not yet released a timeline.
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