Taiga Motors Corporation has begun deliveries for its first electric snowmobile, a ground-breaking innovation that could bring electrification to one of Canada’s favourite off-road vehicle sectors.
The Montreal-based electric off-road vehicle manufacturer shipped its first Nomad snowmobile — one of four electric power-sport models the company plans to market — and expects to ramp up production in the coming months as pre-sales climb.
In production for the past seven years, the company’s vision is to provide consumers with an electric snowmobile that meets industry standards on performance while reducing the carbon footprint.
“Our customers can now experience firsthand the revolutionary technology and cutting-edge design that makes Taiga a sustainable alternative while outperforming traditional powertrains,” said Sam Bruneau, CEO of Taiga, in a statement. “We are just getting started pushing the boundaries of what our technology can do and are laser-focused on ramping-up snowmobile deliveries.”
The company is also developing a fully integrated charging network with hundreds of Level-1, Level-2, and Level-3 charging ports scattered across Canada. Announced last year, the company plans to launch thousands of new water-accessible charging stations across its network and is contemplating on-land chargers in the near term.
It is also building a 340,000-sq.-ft. mass-production facility in Shawinigan, Que. The project, announced in March 2021, will accelerate production of Taiga’s fleet of electric power-sports vehicles.
Taiga expects the first phase to be completed by the end of the year, and if finished on target, production capacity would be 80,000 vehicles by 2025.
Push for electrification
With no powertrain maintenance and quick access to charging, Taiga’s electric snowmobiles could be a game-changer in lowering emissions in the off-road vehicle industry.
According to figures from Taiga, the replacement of 50 snowmobiles at a ski resort would have the equivalent air-quality impact of removing 2,000 cars from circulation for one year — providing the batteries are charged using renewable or other decarbonized sources of energy.
Some of its notable customers include Winter Park Resort, Colorado’s longest continually operated ski resort; Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico, the only Certified B Corp ski resort in North America; and More Activities in Sälen, which provides a variety of outdoor recreational activities across Sweden.
As ski resorts seek to electrify their existing fleets as part of their commitments to sustainable business practices and the environment, Taiga is capitalizing on the demand. The company’s efforts are already making an impact on the environment in the off-road vehicle segment.
“As we execute on our multi-channel growth strategy, we have been laser-focused on our fleet program, as it enables multiple unit sales across numerous verticals, including hospitality and government, among others – each having the potential to grow year-over-year with recurring orders for the company,” said Bruneau, in a separate statement.
“This recent milestone is a testament to the extensive demand for off-road fleet electrification and takes us one step closer in our mission to electrify power-sports at scale.”
To promote off-road electric vehicle usage, Taiga is aiming to unlock 75,000 kms of off-road trails and waterways by 2025. The company has already installed Level-2 charging capability on Lake Simcoe in Central Ontario, Level-2 and -3 charging on Lake Memphremagog in Quebec. An additional 1,100 locations are targeted for electrification.
Focus on powersports and developments at Taiga
Last October, Taiga announced it had reached 110 fleet pre-orders worldwide for its snowmobiles and the Orca watercraft, which utilizes the same technology. The company received orders from Canada, the U.S., and Europe, representing a growing global demand for fleet electrification.
Offering an estimated range of 100 kilometres, the Nomad has 90 horsepower and a towing capacity of 1,124 lbs. For around $22,000, the Nomad can be used for workhorse tasks, family outings, or trail riding and is available to riders of all sizes and skill levels.
Other products under development include the Ekko and Atlas electric snowmobiles, although the company could not confirm delivery dates for these different models.
The Orca watercraft has an estimated range of two hours and can reach a top speed of 104 km/h.
Taiga’s power-sports models are powered by the company’s self-titled operating system. Through an app, users can track their vehicle’s charge levels and find charging networks which are accessible in remote regions.
Founded in 2015, Taiga began trading on the TSX in April 2021.