Long-time ABG friend and reader Jeff Turner wrote in to let us know about the latest adventure of the electric snowmobile built by his alma mater McGill University. Turner and his classmates first came to our attention with their success in the SAE Formula hybrid program. In addition to the warm weather hybrid drive race car, McGill has also been working on battery electric snowmobiles. Their first electric snow machine has done a fair bit of traveling over the last three years including spending two summers in Greenland.
The new edition of the snowmobile now has a 23 horsepower AC induction motor to go with its 3.2 kWh lithium ion battery pack. That pack will soon be replaced by a lower cost nickel-zinc unit. The typical snowmobile CVT has been discarded thanks to the new motor's 7,500 rpm maximum speed. The McGill machine now also has regenerative braking for the first time. The machine can now go 10 miles at speeds up to 35 mph.
For its latest outing, the snowmobile has been shipped to British Columbia, where recently it carried the Olympic Torch into the town of Whistler where most of the outdoor events, including downhill and cross country ski events, are taking place. Whistler-based Canadian Snowmobile Adventures has been one of the sponsors of the McGill program for several years in the hope that it will eventually yield a zero emissions snowmobile that it can use for its tours. Turner's description is pasted after the jump.