Silence in the snow

An electric snowmobile starts up. The lights come on, but it makes no sound. There is no smell of petrol fumes as it sets off for the snowy forest.

Sahkomoottorikelkka liikenteessä

There are only a few electric snowmobiles in the world, and the number of manufacturers can be counted on one hand. Aurora Powertrains, a Finnish company based in Rovaniemi, has pioneered the industry.

Our product development is the most advanced in the world. We have built more than 20 snowmobiles for safaris, and customers have been using them for a couple of years already. A quiet, emission-free safari is the ideal way to enjoy nature, peace and quiet,” says Ari Karjalainen, the CEO.

The safaris are provided by a company called Aurora eMotion, owned by the same people, on Lake Lehtojärvi in Rovaniemi. The electric snowmobiles travel at speeds of 45 kilometres per hour on safari routes, and they have a range of up to 40 kilometres on one charge.

“The electric snowmobile’s top speed is 100 kilometres per hour, but safaris are about driving safely and peacefully while admiring nature. We are a responsible company in other ways, too: the electricity used to power the snowmobiles is renewable, the minimum possible amount of waste is produced on the snowmobile excursions, and the safari guides are locals,” says Karjalainen.

This autumn, Aurora Powertrains’ snowmobiles will be shipped to other parts of the world. It has just sealed an export deal for an initial eight snowmobiles with Hurtigruten Svalbard, a Norwegian adventure tourism company that operates snowmobile safaris in Svalbard.

The development of electric snowmobiles began almost ten years ago at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, and the products are now out in the wide world. Following many projects and (award-winning) prototypes, the snowmobiles are ready for commercialisation.

“One challenge – or area for development – is extending the range. The fact of the matter is that the batteries need to be kept warm, and they cannot be charged at sub-zero temperatures. Our team members are specialists in “cold tech” and ICT know-how offers a strong foundation for the future,” says Karjalainen.

The e-Sled – electric snowmobile:

• A snowmobile assembled on the Lynx snowmobile
• Maximum power output: 100 kW/134 hp,
electric powertrain
• Range: 40 km
• Maximum torque: 240 Nm
• Charging power: 6.6 kW
• Top speed: 100 km/h, programmable to
the desired speed
• Option for driver-specific settings
• The thermally-insulated battery has a capacity
of 10 kWh
• Silent, no exhaust emissions