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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Electric Boats Revolutionize Bangkok’s Water Transport

Electric Boats Revolutionize Bangkok’s Water TransportIn a groundbreaking move that promises to reshape Bangkok’s waterborne transportation, Candela, a Swedish tech company, is introducing a new fleet of ‘flying’ electric boats. These innovative vessels are set to provide significantly faster travel times while drastically reducing emissions and operational costs. This week, Candela will showcase its cutting-edge technology at the Future Mobility Asia Summit in Bangkok.

Bangkok is renowned for its extensive network of waterborne transport, which offers commuters a way to avoid the city’s notorious traffic jams and provides tourists with scenic views of the Chao Phraya River. Despite efforts to electrify slower commuter boats, high-speed vessels still rely on diesel fuel, contributing significantly to the city’s pollution levels.

“Conventional fast vessels are difficult to electrify because they require a lot of energy at high speeds. Their inefficient hulls drain batteries quickly, forcing operators to choose between range and speed,” explains Björn Antonsson, Regional CEO of Candela’s new Asia-Pacific headquarters in Bangkok.

Candela’s vessels stand out as the world’s first to operate on hydrofoils—underwater wings that lift the hull above the water’s friction, greatly enhancing efficiency. The new P-12 Shuttle ferry, the first of its kind, operates at 25 knots using only 10% of the energy consumed by a traditional diesel express boat of similar size. This efficiency enables long-range travel at high speeds, making the P-12 economically attractive for operators and a sustainable environmental choice.

“The hydrofoil technology is transformative. By allowing our vessels to ‘fly,’ we achieve exceptional efficiency, making it a clean, sustainable transport option and a superior experience for passengers,” says Antonsson.

The P-12’s real-time stabilization system, controlled by a computer that adjusts the hydrofoils 100 times per second, ensures a smooth and quiet ride even in challenging conditions like waves and wind. Perfected in Candela’s leisure boats, this system offers an almost silent journey, enhancing passenger comfort.

“It’s often described as a magic carpet ride. You glide over waves, and the quiet electric motors mean there’s no engine noise, even at 25 knots. Imagine traveling at double the speed of current vessels, without the jarring impact of waves and with the quietness of a luxury car,” Antonsson adds.

Moreover, the P-12 creates no wake when foiling, allowing it to travel at high speeds without causing shoreline erosion or damaging dockside infrastructure and moored boats. This feature is particularly beneficial for preserving Bangkok’s waterways and infrastructure.

Candela plans to offer prospective customers in Thailand a firsthand experience of the P-12’s capabilities. The ferry has already been integrated into Stockholm’s public transport system and has been purchased by operators from Berlin to New Zealand. With a capacity of 30 passengers and space for bikes and strollers, the P-12 promises Thai commuters an emission-free mode of travel and could cut travel times by up to 50% in many cases.

“Bangkok is an exemplary model of integrating road and waterway public transport. Electrifying these waterways could significantly reduce road traffic and overall transport emissions,” Antonsson notes.

He also sees potential beyond Bangkok, highlighting Thailand’s scenic island archipelagos. “Thailand is one of the world’s most cherished destinations, with pristine islands that must be protected from pollution. Our oil-free vessels create no wake, safeguarding coastlines and marine life, while being economical to operate. It’s a win-win-win,” Antonsson asserts.

From May 15 to 18, Candela will present at the Future Mobility Asia Summit in Bangkok and offer exclusive media experiences afterwards. This event marks a significant step towards transforming Bangkok’s water transport system into a green expressway, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainable development.

By adopting Candela’s hydrofoil technology, Bangkok could enhance its waterborne transport efficiency and set a precedent for other cities worldwide. The move towards electric boats represents a critical shift in urban transport, promising a cleaner, faster, and more enjoyable travel experience for commuters and tourists alike.

For more information on Candela and their revolutionary electric boats, visit Candela’s Official Website.




Written by: My Thanh Pham







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