Montebello | Like the vast majority of snowmobile enthusiasts, I've seen an all-electric Grand Touring show up in the BRP lineup. I was curious about this new kid's behavior. I was not deceived.
As part of a day organized with several media outlets at the BRP Experience Center at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, I had the opportunity to experience it while hiking. It happened in the way that all interested people who want to do it can.
I showed up to the appointment without any preconceptions. She was there in front of me, ready to go. At first glance, this new model really looks like the Grand Touring we know. It is mounted on the REV GÉN 5 chassis, just like the petrol model. After receiving instructions for use from our expert guide, Yuli Rozon, I was finally able to ride the machine. What initially catches the eye is the dashboard layout. There are no regular tablets, but a touch screen.
To turn it on, you have to press a button the first time, confirm your intentions to leave with a second, and then press the first button a second time. A small audio indicator tells us that it's okay, and at the bottom of the screen we see the word “Ready” in green. All that remains is to press the accelerator to move forward. You can't rely on the sound of the engine because it's quiet.
When you ride a Grand Touring Electric, you quickly realize that you can't rely on the sound of the engine to locate another snowmobile. It's very quiet.
Photo courtesy of Carl Tremblay
Finally, I left the caravan and hit the throttle. To my great surprise, the snowmobile responds very well, silently, except for track noise. Throughout the trip, I don't mind pushing it, pushing it to its limits, and the snowmobile always responds very well. I treated it the same way I would a gas snowmobile.
It should be noted that it is faithful to the Grand Touring range, and provides optimal comfort for two passengers. According to experts, the weight of this snowmobile is the same as the dry weight of the Grand Touring Sport 900 ACE.
The first electric snowmobile was not sold to the general public. To try it, you have to go to one of the three locations where it is available, namely the BRP Experience Center at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, the Nord Expé Center at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu or even the Imago Village on Mont Valin. . In all cases, excursions are conducted with an experienced guide, who will provide you with all relevant instructions.
For people who don't have snowmobile clothing, the three site managers will be able to help you.
Currently, these are the only three locations in Quebec. There are others elsewhere in the world, notably in Finland with the Lynx electric snowmobile.
The engine is a Rotax E-Power, which was designed thanks to the collaboration of the people from Rotax in Austria and the engineers from BRP in Valcourt. Please note that the battery is located at the front of the vehicle. On the right side of the cabin, you find the socket system for recharging. Range 50 km. There are two switches, the green switch which limits the speed to 40 km/h and the performance switch which will allow you to reach the top speed of 60 km/h.
Standard equipment includes reverse gears, heated thumb grips and grips, aluminum handlebars with riser block and J-hook, digital touchscreen dashboard, raised windshield and mirrors, two-seater bench seat with heated backrest, heated visor jack, and heated passenger grab handles. , luggage rack, and LinQ mounting clips.
This is BRP's first step into the world of electric snowmobiles. You will understand that no one wants to confirm to us whether there will be a sequel, but my little finger tells me that this is not the last model that we will see. Once again, this snowmobile is aimed at people who want to live the experience, in controlled conditions, in order to discover the sport of strength. We must also not forget that before wanting to develop an important offer, we will have to think about creating accessible recharge sites.