Hydrofoil tech could help passenger ferries go electric

While the electrification of cars is moving at a fast pace, passenger ferries continue to be almost exclusively powered by fossil fuels. That’s because the current battery capacity isn’t enough to juice these large ships for longer distances.

Scientists at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the SSPA marine research facility have found a way to bypass this problem — using hydrofoils.

Hydrofoils aren’t a novel idea, and they’re commonly used by sail boats. They are mounted under the hull and are nowadays made from carbon fiber. Serving a similar function to wings on an aircraft, hydrofoils lift the boats’ hull above the water’s surface, allowing them to travel at high speeds with low water resistance.