Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Go Fast, Go Silent, Go Clean on an Electric Snow Machine

Taiga’s Nomad electric snowmobile offers the benefits of being a clean, quiet, low maintenance machine. (Taiga Motors)

Michael J. Daley

Imagine you acquired a passion for snowmobiling before your climate consciousness awakened. Imagine the twinge of conscience before each ride as you pour ten gallons of liquid fossil fuel into the tank to then spew out into pristine nature at fifty times the emissions of an automobile burning the same amount of fossil juice. The conflict between values might be enough to lead to a heroic act of self-sacrifice where you vow to park the machine for good.

But wait! The electric propulsion revolution is about to come to sleds. Taiga Motors, a small Montreal- based startup, is getting the credit for introducing the first production model electric snowmobiles to the general public. Their first deliveries began in March 2022, just seven years after the company undertook the challenge. They are priced around $15,000; competitive with high end gas models. They can accelerate 0 to 60 mph in three seconds – incomparable performance! They are nearly silent and, of course, non-polluting in operation.

The company’s three co-founders, Paul Achard, Gabriel Bernatchez, and Sam Bruneau, worked on electric powertrains during their engineering studies at McGill University. Inspired by Tesla’s approach, they set out to reconceive the snowmobile as an electric vehicle, not simply to replace the gas motor with an electric one. In 2019, they introduced the snowmobiling industry to their prototype, TaigaTS2, to what appears to be universal acclaim with one reservation — you guessed it, range.

Taiga’s current production models will deliver 60 to 86 miles per charge. Typical gasoline snowmobiles have a range between 100 to 200 miles per fill up. Not so great a difference at the low end, however, you can fill up on the trail but currently recharging in the great outdoors is not an option. Nevertheless, Taiga has achieved a remarkable benchmark. As anyone familiar with EVs and batteries knows, cold reduces total available capacity and snowmobiling is nothing if not synonymous with cold! Unlike EVs whose range will degrade 20% or more in the cold, Taiga’s 27 kW-hr battery pack is guaranteed to deliver the rated miles even at extremely low temperatures.

Unless you do major long-distance touring or adventure into the outback without a map, the current range is adequate for most recreational uses. Interestingly, just as with early electric vehicles, the most appropriate function for these models will be as parts of fleets at ski resorts where charging infrastructure can be made readily available.

Industry sources are confident Taiga’s success and appeal to riders with performance and environmental values will encourage traditional makers of snowmobiles to accelerate the introduction of electric models or risk being left in the snowdrifts of history. Investors seem to agree as well. A recent public offering for the company generated $100 million in capital. Most of that will be used to build a new manufacturing facility in Shawinigan.

You can check out the specifications and make pre-orders for the Taiga models on their website at Given the accelerating pace of innovation in everything having to do with electric propulsion, we are certain our next article on snowmobiles will contain a much longer list of choices.

Michael J. Daley is a life-long renewable energy educator and advocate, except for a brief time in high school when he though nuclear power was cool. He lives in a tiny, off-grid cabin in Westminster, VT with his wife, Jessie Haas.

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