Cottagers love to have fun at the lake, but we care very much about the environment, and these two can sometimes feel at odds. Canadian company Taiga Motors now offers a way to get out into the outdoors and lessen the environmental impact with their electric TS3 snowmobiles and their electric Orca personal watercrafts (PWCs).
Consumers may not realize that unlike other vehicles, many powersports products, such as PWCs and snowmobiles, are not subject to increasingly stringent exhaust emissions standards.
The snowmobile is now one of the few vehicles that does not require a catalytic converter, resulting in disproportionate levels of pollutant emissions for a modern vehicle. Electrifying one snowmobile can have the same environmental impact as electrifying more than forty cars. Over a few years, the electric machines actually become more economical while being less harmful to our environment.
Using the latest battery technologies and the 180 hp Taiga RADIX powertrain platform for power, both the Orca and the TS3 offer a more environmentally friendly alternative.
On the water, instead of a high-revving gasoline engine to power the jet pump that drives all PWC’s, the TS3 snowmobiles offers an electric engine that produces maximum torque at stall, translating into power for acceleration and load capacity, yet it’s almost silent. At the top speed of 104 kph, all you hear is the wind and water rushing past —no engine noise.
What may be even more attractive than the quiet operation is that there is a 5-year no maintenance powertrain warranty and no winterizing is needed. Electric engines have fewer moving parts and the Orca can simply be drained, lifted out and safely stored in your shed or boathouse till you plug it in next summer. Plus, there is a growing dealer network throughout much of Canada and the U.S.A., if you need service or support.
Typically, owners get a 2-hour run time from a full charge and an advanced thermal management system cools or heats the battery pack to ensure it performs optimally. Orca models start at $15,000 USD and the 110 / 120-volt plug-in charging cable is included. This gives a full charge overnight, (or in about 14 hours). Orca can also be charged in 2-3 hours with a level 2 charging station connected to a 240-volt outlet. Boathouses with electric boat lifts often are wired for 240-volt power, so that will work nicely for some owners. Marinas can buy a super-charger system that can deliver an 80% charge in 20 minutes.
It’s “connected” as well; the onboard computer mapping and data logging lets you remotely monitor the state of charge, the location of your Orca and more. There is a phone app that also lets you adjust riding parameters—such as putting limits on speed and acceleration— for different users.
Looking to ride in the winter? Many of these same virtues apply to their TS3 snowmobiles, which come in three models: the mountain Ekko, the Atlas crossover, and the Utility/touring Nomad with prices starting at $15,000 USD.
More: 5 safety tips every snowmobiler should know
Global e-mobility leader ABB has partnered with Taiga Motors. Taiga will offer customers ABB’s safe, reliable and compact Terra AC wallbox and Terra DC wallbox charging stations for use with Taiga powersports products.
Taiga Motors CEO Samuel Bruneau describes the Taiga Orca as being, “un-plug and play.” With little or no maintenance and of course, no need to gas up, these two new rides are all fun and no work.
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