June 17, 2024

In 1906, inventor Enrico Forlanini launched the first hydrofoil boat on Lake Maggiore in the Italian alps. His contemporary innovator Alexander Bell later said a ride on Forlanini’s invention was “as smooth as flying.”

Fast forward a little over a century to 2014, when Gustav Hasselskog quit his corporate job because he was bored. Seeking a new challenge, he came up with the idea for his own flying boat, powered by electricity. People thought he was crazy — he’s gone on to prove them wrong.    

Swedish startup Candela has since built hundreds of hydrofoil boats, grown its team to over 220, and opened a factory in Stockholm the size of a football field. Now, it’s looking to branch out from recreational boating into a much bigger market: public transportation.

Candela recently started series production of an electric passenger ferry designed to whizz commuters around coastal cities faster and more sustainably than previously possible. 

An image of Gustav Hasselskog, the founder and CEO of Candela