4 Drawbacks to Riding an Electric Snowmobile Instead of a Gas-Powered Sled

Electric vehicles (EVs) have taken the automotive market by storm, with more and more consumers demanding innovation and new technology. EVs have been on the automotive market for decades now. The next step is that other types vehicles might start getting electric motors. Snowmobiles are now available with electric motors, though there are some cons that might keep you from buying one right away. 

A family riding on a snowmible.
A woman drives two children on a snowmobile | Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images

Snowmobiles will be available with electric motors

According to SnowmobileHow, the first electric snowmobile was developed by a company called Taiga. Taiga was started in 2015 and is based in Canada.

Taiga was influenced heavily by Tesla, and the innovations that came out of it. The TS2 isn’t yet available for purchase, but you can pre-order it. Taiga’s three models that will be electric all start at $15,000. Each model is made for a different application: all-terrain, mountain, or touring. The price is higher than most snowmobiles, but they are still within the range of higher-end traditional snowmobiles.

While Taiga is the only company currently releasing electric snowmobiles, SnowmobileHow says that more companies will follow suit in the next five years. 

What are the cons of an electric snowmobile?

While the possibility of an electric snowmobile is exciting, there are some hurdles that might make them less accessible.

The biggest issue is they have a short range. Electric snowmobiles only have a range of about 80-110 miles on a fully charged battery. That might seem like enough for just hitting some trails, but it’s really not enough for multiple days or long days. It also doesn’t give a lot of confidence if you’re exploring far out in the backcountry

In addition to short range, they also have long charging times. While you can carry gas with you on a snowmobile trip and simply refill when you run low, a snowmobile will take hours to charge – and that’s only if you find a place to charge it. If you’re touring the backcountry, you likely are not going to find a charging station at all. 

Electric snowmobiles are not common. In fact, Taiga’s weren’t slated for release until late 2022. Because of that, mechanics who specialize in them just do not exist right now. If something goes wrong, you may not find anyone who can repair your sled.

Repairs may not cost as much over the life of the snowmobile, but if you can’t find someone to do the repairs, then it may not be worth the price. 

In fact, because of a lack of parts and lack of specialized mechanics, repairs could be costly. 

Electric snowmobiles may become more common in the future

Automakers have taken huge strides in making their electric vehicles accessible to the general public, so there is some hope for electric snowmobiles. While they may not be a great purchase now, the field is constantly finding new ways to further range and make charging faster and more accessible. That may well translate over to other electric vehicles, including snowmobiles, before too long. 

While the cons may outweigh the pros for now, a certain rider may find the electric snowmobile exactly what they want. Electric snowmobiles are virtually soundless on the trail, which likely makes for a more pleasant riding experience. 

They are also faster than their traditional gas-powered counterpart. Taiga claims that their electric snowmobile goes from 0-60 mph in only 3 seconds, which would likely send up a fun flurry of snow. 

If you are a rider who likes shorter jaunts at higher speeds, then the electric snowmobile may be just what you’re looking for. In addition, those riders who are looking for wildlife or perhaps bird-watching will appreciate the silent electric motor. 

The electric snowmobile has some catching up to do to make it desirable, but it might just get there sooner than we think. 

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