Electric Snowmobile Taiga TS2 Brings Energy Efficiency To The Slopes

Silicon Valley’s cut-throat electric car industry has a new player on the field, but not on the road. According to AutoEvolution, a Canadian startup company called Taiga Motors has made winter sports more sustainable with the launch of the Taiga TS2, an electric snowmobile capable of driving 100 km/h in as little as three seconds.

Although the snowmobile is still in its testing phase, the vehicle is powered by a hefty 15 kWh battery pack with a PMAC motor capable of developing 80 kW. The battery pack and motor are what enable the snowmobile, which is just under 500 lbs, to accelerate to speeds as high as 60 mph in just three seconds.

The Montreal-based startup was first founded in 2016 by three recent college graduates — Samuel Bruneau, Gabriel Bernatchez, and Paul Archard. The founders had started creating their snowmobiles in 2013 and 2014 in the Society of Automotive Engineers’ electric snowmobile competitions.

“People [in California] started contacting us,” said Bruneau regarding investor interest in the electric snowmobiles.

Taiga’s founders say they were inspired by the electric automotive company, Tesla. Today’s snowmobiles, Bruneau says, operate at a magnitude that puts more pollution in the air than automobiles.

According to StopWaste.org, approximately 17% of everything that’s printed is believed to be waste. However, compared to the pollution of a modern snowmobile engine, this amount of waste is almost nothing.

A two-stroke engine, which is used in many modern snowmobiles, was found by the U.S. National Park Service, to produce more smog-forming emissions in a seven-hour run than a 1998 passenger car driven for 100,000 miles. This is a considerable amount of pollution considering there are over 600,000 registered snowmobiles in Canada alone. In fact, even in the U.S. there are more registered snowmobiles (1.2 million) than there are timeshare units (200,720).

To fight back against this type of pollution, many companies have started to create greener options for vehicles and waste-producing products. Even the metalworking fluid industry has begun using semi-synthetic lubricants, which contain less than 30% oil content in concentrate and are more eco-friendly.

The Taiga TS2 aims to reduce the air pollution of the modern snowmobile without reducing its performance. In a single charge, the TS2 can cover as many as 62 miles.

Additionally, the TS2 only takes two hours to replenish its battery. However, the vehicle can charge up to 80% in as little as 20 minutes with a DC fast-charging option.

What’s more, the snowmobile can be easily compared to an electric car in that the vehicle has a tighter design because there’s no engine or fuel tank. The electric snowmobile is also quieter than its gas-powered models and will save owners more money in the long run.

“You’ll save over $1,000 a year with the electric one,” said Bruneau.

The target price for the TS2 is expected to range around $15,000 per vehicle, a price similar to a high-end Ski-Doo. Buyers can currently place down a $500 deposit for a vehicle.

The TS2 is expected to hit the commercial market by 2019. For now, Bruneau says, they want to show investors that the snowmobile works the way Taiga Motors says it does. “The goal is to make it a no-brainer to get an electric snowmobile,” said Bruneau.

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