Jan 5, 2024 - Sports

Test ride: Ski-Doo electric snowmobiles debut in Colorado

Ski-Doo's Grand Touring Electric on a trail at Grand Adventures in Fraser. Photo courtesy of Ski-Doo

Ski-Doo's Grand Touring Electric on a trail at Grand Adventures in Fraser. Photo: Courtesy of Ski-Doo

The rap-rap-rap of revved snowmobiles echo through the forest and meadows in the Colorado mountains each winter.

Yes, but: The latest snowmobiles on the state's trails are designed to purr.

What's happening: The future of recreational snow travel just debuted at Grand Adventures outside Winter Park

  • The outfitter is one of just five locations in the United States where you can ride electric-powered snowmobiles made by Ski-Doo.

How it works: The machines use a level 2 charger, like a car, and can charge in less than three hours. It's lightweight with a push-button start that beeps once, giving it the feel of a larger kids' Power Wheel.

  • It is designed for short-distance, on-trail tours with a maximum speed of 60kph, or roughly 37mph. The battery range is roughly 50 kilometers, or 31 miles.

Quick take: The Grand Touring Electric machines are no louder than a washing machine, John found on a recent test ride, and quiet enough to have conversations with your passenger.

  • Bonus: At the end of the ride, you don't smell of gasoline exhaust from a traditional machine.

πŸ’­ My thought bubble: The electric sled's speed and range limits will keep most riders β€” including me β€” on a traditional snowmobile for now.

  • But the new machines are perfect for wild and sensitive areas, like Yellowstone National Park, where the quiet of a snow-covered landscape is the allure.
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