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Clean and quiet snowmobiles: McGill leads the way

21.12.2004


As the snow falls, many look forward to the thrill of a day spent snowmobiling, but this sport is not eagerly anticipated by all. Some find the noise and gas emission levels unbearable. McGill University researchers are at the forefront of looking for solutions to these concerns by making snowmobiles and other power-sport recreational vehicles clean and quiet.



"People associate snowmobiles with noise and gas pollution" said Simon Ouellette, project manager of the McGill University Electric Snowmobile Team. "For this reason, there has been a recent move to legislate the use of these vehicles both in Canada and the USA. We are hopeful that we can build a snowmobile where these issues are not a concern."

For the past year the McGill University Electric Snowmobile Team has been developing an electric snowmobile prototype. This prototype, using batteries instead of fuel, will be quieter and have no gas emissions.


A second prototype is also being designed in a joint project with an international research organisation. Withstanding arctic weather is the main factor to be overcome by this second prototype.

This project is part of a major graduate research project: the McGill University Electric Recreational Vehicle Research Project. The four year project will look at three major recreational vehicles types: snowmobiles, personal watercraft, all-terrain vehicles.

"The potential for this project is enormous," said Professor of Engineering, Peter Radziszewski. "Once we have the prototype, we can use the same technology for other vehicles. A number of provincial organizations are interested in participating in this project and we continue to look for other partners."

Christine Zeindler | EurekAlert!

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