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Whistler to use electric snowmobiles

17th April 2017, by Abi Butcher

Photo: Whistler Question by Calling Mountains Productions courtesy of Canadian Wilderness Adventures

Photo: Whistler Question by Calling Mountains Productions courtesy of Canadian Wilderness Adventures

A new environmentally friendly snowmobile will be hitting the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb next winter — following a successful test-run of prototype electric machines this season.

Canadian Wilderness Adventures and Whistler Blackcomb have been trialling electric-powered snowmobiles developed by Quebec company Taiga Motors, and will incorporate the machines into their fleets next winter. 

The snowmobiles have no fuel tank nor engine, so are easier to handle, and they have no emmissions and make no noise. While the machines’ capabilities over different snow conditions and terrain will vary, the teams report on a test-run to Crystal Hut they performed well.

Following this successful test, Taiga will make 10 electric snowmobiles next season and Whistler Blackcomb/Canadian Wilderness Adventures will be among the first to be using them.

“Everybody thought it was pretty impressive,” said CWA general manager Craig Beattie told The Whistler Question. “We had the odd glitch that happened, which I think that you have to have an expectation of, but all-in-all I think they were all blown away.”

“From the rider’s perspective the snowmobile works very similarly to a regular one, just with better handling, less noise and no emissions. On a technology side, it is comparable to electric cars, just with an emphasis on keeping everything lightweight. You can plug it into an outlet or connect to a standard electric car charger if you want to charge up faster,” wrote Taiga Motors co-founder Samuel Bruneau in an email to CWA’s communications department.

Read Where to Ski and Snowboard’s review of Whistler here.



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