First ‘flying’ electric ferry to debut in New Zealand in 2025

Swedish-made Candela-P12 will transport staff and contractors servicing Meridian Energy power station

First ‘flying’ electric ferry to debut in New Zealand in 2025

Candela Technology

The Candela P-12 ‘flies’ on computer-guided hydrofoils

By Laura Hyde |

A ‘flying’ electric ferry, the Candela P-12, will make its debut on New Zealand’s Lake Manapouri in 2025. It will be the first delivery of the Swedish-made ferry to a customer outside Europe.  

The Candela P-12 will provide daily transport for Meridian Energy staff and contractors servicing Manapouri Power Station, the country’s largest hydro power station.  

The vessel will save 240 tons of carbon emissions each year, which is equivalent to taking 52 petrol cars off the road, according to Candela Technology. Meridian says the electric shuttle ferry is one way the company will reduce its emissions from internal transport, contributing to its goal of halving emissions by 2030. 

“We have to be bold and innovative to reduce emissions,” said Tania Palmer, Meridian’s general manager of generation. “This deal is the result of a global search to identify the latest and best technology for our needs, and one that’s suitable for such an incredible natural environment. 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.” 

Candela P-12 electric ferry New Zealand Lake Manapouri

The ferry will contribute to Meridian Energy’s goal to halve emissions by 2030

The Candela P-12 appears to fly, as computer-guided hydrofoils lift the hull above the water at high speed, which the manufacturer says can reduce energy consumption by 80 per cent compared to traditional vessels. With a cruise speed of 25 knots, the wake behind the vessel is less than 15cm high, which will minimise disruption to the shoreline of Lake Manapouri, voted New Zealand’s most beautiful lake. An onboard flight controller prevents motion-sickness-inducing pitching and slamming by using sensors to measure the wave height in front of the vessel. It then adjusts the hydrofoils’ angle 100 times per second to provide a smooth ride for passengers.

“It’s like riding a magic carpet, basically” 

“We’re excited to partner with a global leader in the transition to sustainable energy and global decarbonisation and thrilled to soon see our P-12 in action on Lake Manapouri,” said Gustav Hasselskog, CEO of Candela Technology. “We thank Meridian for leading the charge towards a cleaner, greener future.”

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