Electric vehicles at sea: Polestar and Candela

Of course, as a colossal piece of the mobility puzzle, cars rightfully take up a lot of the limelight when it comes to electric vehicles. The benefits, whether environmental or technological, are well known and often touted (guilty as well as accused). There’s an entire segment, however, that regularly gets overlooked in the EV conversation. One that has a huge impact on our planet, and therefore, an equally huge potential for electrification.


The push for greater electrification in the world of personal watercraft is underway, although it has yet to gain the momentum of change from the automotive industry. What will turn the tides (yep) are technological and design advances, those that make electric boating the obvious and desirable choice for water mobility.

This is where Candela comes in.

Founded in Stockholm in 2014, the electric boat maker is “pushing the limits of what electric boats and ships can do”, with their C-8 model becoming the best-selling electric boat in Europe. Candela’s distinctive alchemy is a combination of aviation-inspired hydrofoil technology and advanced flight control computers.

The C-FOIL system allows Candela’s boats to reach speeds of 30 knots in absolute silence, with no pollution, wakes, noise or tracks behind them.

The carbon fiber hydrofoils of Candela’s boats generate enough lift at high speeds to lift the hull above the water. Once in flight, the boat is balanced in real time by its flight controller, a computer that takes into account side winds, different loads and waves. This system not only provides a very smooth ride, but also allows the Candela C-8 to use 80% less energy than comparable high-speed boats. It also makes C8 the first electric motor boat capable of competing with ICE boats in terms of range and speed.

Candela engineers, obsessed with efficiency (another similarity between the brands), also designed the Candela C-POD, the most energy-intensive boat motor ever created. Although only 10cm in diameter, it offers 23% more range than other electric outboards due to its very low drag. And in addition to the technical innovations, they will hold 3000 hours of use without maintenance, echoing one of the most attractive aspects of electric powertrains: no oil, and fewer moving parts, therefore less maintenance.

And the batteries that will soon power this revolutionary technology? Supplied by Polestar.

As part of the multi-year agreement, Polestar will supply Candela with regular batches of batteries and charging systems. The sale is the start of a broader partnership between Polestar and Candela, with the two companies exploring opportunities for future collaboration.

“I am fascinated by the way Candela’s boats glide elegantly and efficiently through the water, or better, over the water – stunning proof of the great aesthetics and experiences that modern, sustainable technology can create. That Polestar is part of future projects with Candela, supplying an essential piece for the innovative propulsion of their boats, it’s great. As Candela’s battery supplier, we can help drive the transition to cleaner oceans and lakes and electrify waterborne transportation,” said Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar.

Collaboration is natural in many ways. Both are design-driven companies striving to break free from the traditions of their respective industries. Both have a disdain for shortcuts and a refusal to compromise. And both believe wholeheartedly in a sustainable, electric future for mobility.

“By combining Candela’s hydrofoil technology with Polestar’s advanced batteries, we can accelerate the mass adoption of electric boats in the market,” said Gustav Hasselskog, CEO of Candela. “While the electrification of cars has come a long way in recent years, the maritime sector is lagging behind. With Polestar, I believe we can change that.

What we can see in this partnership is an enlargement of the field of action. And e-mobility is no longer seen as just a matter of cars.