The electric revolution shows no sign of slowing down and if you’ve already got a Tesla parked on the drive, a Specialized e-bike in the garage and the Voi app on your phone for battery-powered scooter action on-the-go, there’s now another hot product for you to check out. Unveiled at the Las Vegas CES tech trade show in January 2022, MoonBikes Motors have launched what is billed as the world’s first all-electric, ultra-light snowbike – and it looks ridiculously cool.
French start-up MoonBikes say their machine “blurs the lines between recreation and transportation”, providing a new way to enjoy winter activities as well as a practical, eco-friendly way to get around a ski resort or the backcountry. Like a halfway house between a fully-fledged snowmobile and a regular e-bike, this vehicle will “transform your winter into a playground”, as the slick marketing promises, and enable you to “ride without a sound” and “explore nature – without compromising it”. Or, in other words, you get the best of both worlds – the freedom of an e-bike with the power of a motorcycle, but with “zero operational footprint”.
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The MoonBike’s real benefit is that it’s far lighter, smaller and more streamlined than a traditional, gasoline-fuelled snowmobile. It weighs in at just 87kg including the battery, measures just 70.5cm wide, and thus can pass through doorways (for indoors storage) or be transported in the bed of a truck. This ultra-light and compact design also means the MoonBike is “easy for anyone to ride”, according to the brand, with a low centre of gravity and simple controls.
Max speed on the MoonBike, which is effectively a moped mounted on a track and ski, is 26mph, and it can cope with inclines of 40% on groomed slopes and snow depths of up to 30cm. The single battery has a rating of 2.5kWh, delivering 1.5 hours of range in eco mode and 1 hour in sport. With an optional dual battery, the power is boosted to 5kWh with a max range of 3 hours. It is claimed the batteries, which are housed in a heated battery box, will work effectively down to -25C. Charging time is 5 hours 45 minutes with a standard charger, or 3 hours with an optional fast charger, and can be carried out by connecting the cable directly to the MoonBike or removing the battery and charging it at home.
Will this innovative new mode of transport become commonplace across every ski resort globally, or is this all just a flash in the pan? Well, the brand has just secured $5.2 million in seed funding to expand its team, invest in research and continue manufacturing the MoonBike – so it looks like full throttle ahead for the time being, at least.
MoonBikes start at US $8,500 excluding VAT, depending on specifications.