Outdoors

Bobsla electric snow drifter brings sled-like action to flat ground

Bobsla electric snow drifter b...
Bobsla was recently announced a winner of a 2020 ISPO BrandNew award
Bobsla was recently announced a winner of a 2020 ISPO BrandNew award
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The Bobsla features a rear tread drive powered by two electric motors
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The Bobsla features a rear tread drive powered by two electric motors
Speeds are limited to 30 km/h (18.6 mph), but Bobsla inventor Sergey Ignatyev says he's gotten it up to 40 km/h (25 mph) during testing
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Speeds are limited to 30 km/h (18.6 mph), but Bobsla inventor Sergey Ignatyev says he's gotten it up to 40 km/h (25 mph) during testing
The Bobsla looks to be part snowmobile, part sled and part go-kart
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The Bobsla looks to be part snowmobile, part sled and part go-kart
Skiing and snowboarding have steep learning curves, but the Bobsla offers an easier alternative for those who want to enjoy the snow
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Skiing and snowboarding have steep learning curves, but the Bobsla offers an easier alternative for those who want to enjoy the snow
Bobsla was recently announced a winner of a 2020 ISPO BrandNew award
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Bobsla was recently announced a winner of a 2020 ISPO BrandNew award
With those powerful lights, it looks like Bobsla could also work as a nighttime resort activity
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With those powerful lights, it looks like Bobsla could also work as a nighttime resort activity
Bobsla plans to develop races
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Bobsla plans to develop races
Motoring and drifting on snow
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Motoring and drifting on snow
The Bobsla has accelerator and braking controls but leaves steering to sliding and drifting
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The Bobsla has accelerator and braking controls but leaves steering to sliding and drifting
Bobsla with a view
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Bobsla with a view
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Part snowmobile, part sled and part drift kart, the Bobsla gives non-skiers something much more exhilarating to do on ski trips than sip whiskey by the lodge fireplace. The all-electric Tyrolean motor sleigh treads, slides and spins its way around the snow. It's an easier, less tiring way of enjoying the snow-sprinkled peaks of the Alps and beyond.

The rear-driven Bobsla's giddy-up comes from a 12-kW dual-motor drive that sends its treads spinning and clawing their way over snow. The driver can accelerate up to the limited 30-km/h (18.6-mph) top speed and get things back to zero with a brake.

The Bobsla looks to be part snowmobile, part sled and part go-kart
The Bobsla looks to be part snowmobile, part sled and part go-kart

Unlike a snowmobile, the Bobsla doesn't have any steering. Instead, it slides and drifts around the snow with its sled-like plastic front-end, a ride we imagine as the realization of the motorized sled every snow lover has envisioned at some point during childhood (and maybe again during adulthood).

As much potential as the Bobsla has for local snow days, inventor Sergey Ignatyev sees more opportunity in tourism, where courses and races would serve as an alternative to traditional activity offerings at ski resorts, hotels and other destinations. Unlike skiing and snowboarding, Bobsla-ing doesn't require a hill and can be enjoyed on a relatively small patch of flat snow, somewhere between 50 to 100 m (164 to 328 feet) long. It doesn't have the steep learning curve of those other sports, as it's designed to be learned on the fly after a quick on-snow rundown of controls and operation.

Bobsla plans to develop races
Bobsla plans to develop races

Bobsla has its first customer in Austrian ski area Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, which purchased a fleet of e-sleighs to provide snow-drifting opportunities to visitors. A ticket costs €20 for 15 minutes of riding. Judging by the video clips we've seen, Bobsla-ing looks like a blast and we get the feeling we'd want to stay in the seat more than 15 minutes. Hopefully, they'll offer additional ticket options (an hour, all day, etc.) in the future, should the program prove successful.

Each Bobsla's battery is swappable so that the resort can keep the fleet running as smoothly as possible. Charging takes roughly two hours, according to Ignatyev, and Bobsla offers the additional batteries and charging hardware with the karts.

Motoring and drifting on snow
Motoring and drifting on snow

The Bobsla will be on show at next month's ISPO expo, where it will be recognized in the BrandNew Awards, alongside the ExoLung. From there, Ignatyev is hoping to get his vessel out to additional resorts around Europe and North America and is also planning a summer variation for 2020. In the meantime, the Bobsla is available for full-throttle drifting at Obergurgl.

Check out more in the video below.

Startup Bobsla GmbH presents new e-vehicle for snow resorts and hotels

Source: Bobsla

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4 comments
minivini
I’d love to have some idea of range. These would enable access to some super fun light backcountry places where you currently have to snowshoe or snowmobile in. Imagine a small ski area that could accommodate a few dozen skiers, but can’t justify (or don’t want) a lift. How about golf courses in winter? I can think of dozens of fun places to use one of these!!
Wolf0579
I've been waiting for an electric snow machine... those engines destroy the ambience of the forest in winter... not to mention polluting the air with burned 2 cycle oil smoke. This is progress.... of a sort. I'm waiting for the analog of the experimental aircraft fuselage on treads and skis. Something you can get inside of that has a heater or at least protection from the wind.
buzzclick
About 15 years ago, on the way up to my cottage in the mountains, I stopped to get gas for my car. There was a group of couples with their snowmobiles gassing up, and they noticed that I wasn't pleased by the look on my face. "You guys (in French) are ruining the peacefulness of the countryside"! ...followed by a long silence. I think that one of the reasons they didn't whip my ass was because they were with their wives. lol I have driven snowmobiles. They are a lot of fun, but give me an electric choice already. It's not so much the pollution they make, which overall is a lot less than what cars put out, it's the noise.
John Gochnauer
This is more of an expensive resort toy than a practical snowmobile replacement.