With the success of its first diesel-electric snow groomer, the 600 E+ "Green Machine", launched in 2012, the team at PistenBully was inspired to work towards developing a 100-percent electric, zero-emission groomer. While the honor for the first all-electric snow-vehicle belongs to Monaco's Venturi Automobiles, PistenBully claims its 100 E is the first fully electric solution for the snow grooming industry.
Germany-based PistenBully developed the 100 E together with Mattro Production GmbH, a company from Schwaz, Austria, specializing in electric mobility. The vehicle, which is currently only a one-off, boasts a 126-kWh, 400-volt battery that charges to 75 percent capacity in around five hours, with full charge reached at 6.5 hours, giving the 100 E an average driving time of 2.5 to 3 hours.
The 100 E travels on a tank-style, snowcat configuration, with two rows of tracks – usually rubber or metal, depending on requirements – which are propelled by rows of hard-rubber wheels. Its forerunner, the 600 E+ also has an all-electric drive train, but uses a diesel engine to drive a pair of generators, which in turn power the electric motors that control track-propulsion and the snow tiller.
PistenBully, which touts itself as the world's largest manufacturer of snow groomers having delivered over 22,000 snow groomers worldwide, says the 100 E has already proven itself in rigorous pre-production field-testing, but says it will take on customer feedback before committing to further development of the vehicle before making a decision on series production.
A video of the field tests for the 100 E, showing the screen-based control systems for the drivetrain, can be viewed below.
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