Features

Electric Sleds Rebuttal - Seriously?

Electric Sleds Rebuttal - Seriously?

Obviously unable to wait for the annual Supertrax Magazine “Brothers Duel” (due out shortly) Kent posts a ridiculous article praising the potential for electric snowmobiles getting traction with everyday snowmobile buyers.

Kent - are you trying to prime the pump in advance of our annual tete-a-tete? Did you think I wouldn’t read your drivel and call you out on this nonsense?

Seriously. Pull your head out! While the Taiga is the first mass-produced “credible” electric snowmobile it in no way represents anything even remotely likely to make it to the mainstream. Not even your assertion of new battery technology in the wings making a Taiga’s range more realistic makes any sense.

So what if a Taiga could go 200 miles on a charge? How many charging stations will be available – given the remote, rural environment snowmobiling is practiced in?

Seriously, the cost of stage one electric vehicle chargers (the kind that can achieve an 80 percent “fill-up” in a half hour) is prohibitively huge. Who will see installing chargers for snowmobiles on trail routes as a remotely feasible business model?

Will Taiga - like Tesla - take on the immensely complicated and costly job of setting up a snowbelt-wide charging infrastructure to be used three to four months a year?

Here’s where Kent entered the Twilight Zone. Until the much talked about “super battery” arrives - something the entire world has been predicting but not delivering – electric snowmobiles – and electric anything else – will be confined to routes which provide recharging capability at regular, predictable intervals.

If the rumored “super battery” could pump up Taiga range to the 300 mile (500 km) level then there would be some potential for this concept in the hands of the trail riding public. In the absence of this kind of range the Taiga will remain a specialty vehicle practical only for specialized usage.

Remember this reality. Let’s say a “super battery” does emerge, creating credible electric sled range. There’s still this formidable problem. Where do you charge your electric sled?

If a remote snowmobile resort installs a stage one charger then you better get in line to hook up your ride when you turn-in for the night. If you ride from your own cabin or live in a snowmobile accessible area you could plug in your sled for a 12-hour overnight charge from a relatively low cost, Stage 3 (110 volt) charger.

The real issue electric sled proliferation must deal with before it gains a toe-hold in the retail marketplace is the availability of charging stations.

Kenny – you should have known this.