Skyfall or Snowfall?
Insider’s info on electric snowmobiles
We woke up this morning and learned that we had been living the geeky engineer’s “dream life” for 15 months from fall 2011 to winter 2012 without even noticing it. According to the media rumor, we spent almost a year and a half working on some crazy stealth snowmobile vehicle straight out of James Bond’s legendary high tech lab operated by Q!
According to press reports, this all started in 2011, when CrossChasm Technologies, was awarded a research and development contract from Defence R&D Canada Suffield in order to research the noise emissions of off road vehicles. As part of this contract, a hybrid snowmobile capable of driving in electric mode had to be developed.
Scenario from a James Bond movie? Not quite…
R&D project looking to advance the understanding of noise in off-road utility vehicles and foster technological development related to hybrid drive systems in extreme environments? Yes.
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The reports make this R&D project sound like it’s straight out of a science fiction movie. Maybe it’s because we’ve been doing hybrid and electric vehicle R&D projects for automotive OEMs and tier 1 suppliers, the Canadian Space Agency and various other vehicle manufacturers for years that we failed to see the “James Bond” factor on this one. When you work on electric and hybrid vehicles all the time, the lack of details on electric snowmobile in the published articles doesn’t really make your imagination run wild anymore.
SPOILER ALERT!!! If you want your imagination to keep running wild with regards to electric snowmobiles stop reading now! We’re about to show you pictures of what and electric snowmobile looks like.
So what does an electric snowmobile look like?!? Boringly enough, they look like a standard snowmobile. (Not that different from how an electric car looks like any other car)
Don’t believe us?
Here are pictures of the most northerly located electric snowmobile on the planet. Hard to tell it’s electric! You’ll have to believe us on this one. :)
This vehicle, designed and assembled by CrossChasm on an existing utility snowmobile platform is currently in operation at a remote U.S. National Science Foundation research base in Greenland named Summit Station (www.summitcamp.org).
Thanks to the fact that it produces no emissions when driving, this electric snowmobile (nicknamed Edison by base staff) is capable of transporting scientists and equipment into a “clean air zone” atop the Jakobshavn glacier at an altitude of 10,000ft, one of the world’s most unique scientific research sites.
So where does that leave us now? Unfortunately, Miss. Moneypenny, still doesn’t work at our front desk and we have to get back to our calculators and our labs to do more electric and hybrid vehicle work. It’s not James Bond worthy but we enjoy our daily routine of custom designing advanced vehicle systems, developing mobile apps related to electric vehicles (Android, iPhone) and helping utilities deploy charging networks around the globe.
That being said, if you hear that Q is looking for development partners, please let us know.