A ride on a snowmobile or Jet Ski is less of a thrill knowing that you’re polluting pristine locations. “People want to be able to go explore outside without compromising the environment,” says Samuel Bruneau, CEO of Quebec-based Taiga, a company that’s electrifying the power trains of off-road vehicles.
The process is much harder for off-roaders than for cars, Bruneau says, due to the rough terrain, extreme conditions, and steady full-throttle power requirements. “You can’t just take what’s been done with a Tesla and put it into one of these vehicles,” he says. But Taiga’s EVs—winner of the North America category of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards—rival the performance of its gas-powered competitors, while also eliminating the noise and smell. The vehicles power up with regular at-home EV chargers.
As for emissions savings, Taiga estimates that replacing 50 snowmobiles at a single ski resort would equal removing 2,000 cars from circulation for a year. Bruneau believes there’s enough demand for eco-conscious jaunts for the off-road sector to go mostly electric by 2030.