Ski-Doo’s Groundbreaking 2024 Grand Touring Electric

2024 Ski-Doo Grand Touring Electric
2024 Ski-Doo Grand Touring Electric

Ski-Doo has unveiled an all-electric, zero-tailpipe-emissions snowmobile for model year 2024. The Grand Touring Electric will strictly be a commercial vehicle in its first year and is aimed at short-course rental operators. However, it could be a major breakthrough vehicle long-term.

When we got a chance to see and ride the machine in Montana recently, Ski-Doo officials wouldn’t release data on the motor that drives it and its output. Sharing of such tech info was saved for another day. However, the vehicle itself is a bit of a marvel, with all sorts of fresh thinking aimed at taking friction out of the machine to extend its range.

That said, the range and the power output of the Grand Touring Electric are both rather paltry by snowmobile enthusiasts’ standards. The claimed range, if the vehicle is used gently, is 50 kilometers (31 miles) on a full charge, and with the “guest key” tether cord in place it tops out at 40 kilometers per hour (25 mph). So, no, at this point this vehicle isn’t aimed at your average visitor to this website. Although, when we got a chance to ride it, we definitely had some fun (look for impressions later in the story).

Moreover, somewhat like the old Yellowstone Special four-stroke that Arctic Cat built in December of 2000,  this should be seen as a “proof of concept” sort of vehicle. It may be one where, 20 years from now, folks will look back and remember exactly where they were when they first heard about it.

Inside The Electric Snowmobile

Another Quebec company – Taiga – has been pledging it will mass produce an electric snowmobile for several years now and has taken plenty of orders. And the CEO of BRP, Jose Boisjoli, pledged a couple of years ago that the company would develop electric vehicles in all of its segment (although at the time he said snowmobiles might be last because of the special challenges of battery life in the winter). So there were hints out there that something eventually might be coming.

But when a Ski-Doo engineer pulled up in front of us on a nearly silent snowmobile, it was still stunning.

The Grand Touring Electric rides on a short-track (120-inch) REV Gen5 chassis with a 2-Up seat. Notable upon first glance was the fact that the hood is completely sealed – as opposed to a normal Ski-Doo hood that has holes and vents in various locations for air intake to the engine, clutches and various other areas to manage and let heat escape. That led to one of the vehicles many unique features: The powerplant/batteries are not only liquid-cooled, they are also liquid heated. Keeping those batteries warm is key to having range.

The 14- by 120- by .75-inch track, meanwhile, was riddled with holes, as designers took great liberties with its porting to strip weight and friction. They were also enabled by the fact that not much power is going to that track.

Fighting friction was a major focus, which affected everything from the placement of wheels in the optimized SC-5 rear suspension to the shallow depth of the keel on the skis.

Ski-Doo officials didn’t release a spec weight during our ride, but later its dry weight was pegged at 539 pounds. Of note, it will stay at that weight because the owner will never be adding heavy fuel or oil loads.

The vehicle is set up to accept a Level 1 or 2 charge that may be familiar to those with electric cars. With Level 2, the vehicle will recharge from 10 to 80 percent in about 90 minutes, Ski-Doo officials said, or 0 to 100 percent in three hours.

2024 Ski-Doo Grand Touring Electric
Introducing the 2024 Ski-Doo Grand Touring Electric snowmobile.

Driving An Electric Sled

We’ve said in the past that riding Ski-Doo models using the quiet, well-mannered 600 ACE engine was like politely sneaking through the woods on a stealth vehicle. With this new benchmark however, those 600 ACE sleds seems like they produce sonic booms compared to this new electric sled!

You bring the Grand Touring Electric to life by plugging in the tether and pushing on the button that would normally engage electric start on other Ski-Doos. That wakes the machine up and fires up the large 10.25-inch touchscreen gauge, but the sled will essentially be in neutral. Hold in that button again for a little over a second, and the gauge will tell you that the sled is now in “Drive.”

A push on the right-mounted throttle will start the machine moving forward. Because there are no clutches – just an AC motor, DC batteries, a converter and a chaincase – the sled’s take-off can be extremely subtle. We crawled away at about 1 mph on one occassion!

Everything about the sled is easy-going – from the ultra-light throttle pull and steering to the quiet sound. That said, it’s not “silent” – there’s definitely a bit of an electric whine and growl that emanates from under the hood, plus the sound of the track and suspension.

Cruising along the course that Ski-Doo had laid out for us with the throttle pinned, the sled plodded along at a comforting 25 mph, a speed that may be great for newcomers but the vast majority of enthusiasts would find it mundane. But remember that you’re not the target customer for this sled. Ski-Doo also let us use the “Guide” tether with expanded the top speed to 60 kph, or about 37 mph, and it showed a bit more spunk. Using that guide tether would cost the sled some of its already limited range.

Why Is It Important

So, would the Grand Touring E be a good buggy to use to introduce a total newcomer to the sport? In the right circumstances, absolutely yes. It would not, though, be a good rental sled in a place like West Yellowstone because of the short range. Most folks there take half-day tours that cover a higher mile range than what this vehicle is able to guarantee. The same with many rental operations we’ve seen throughout the Snowbelt, from Quebec and Maine through the Upper Midwest or Wyoming, for example.

We have, though, been in places like the Tahoe region or at some Colorado ski hills where folks pay $100-$200 for short-course rides of an hour or two and cover about 10 miles. For those situations, this seems like a perfect application. It’s easy to drive and inviting. Another example: A relative of ours rode a snowmobile on a glacier in Iceland that was a 90 minute adventure as part of a tour group. For that application, it would be perfect.


The bigger questions – and the ones that Ski-Doo officials wouldn’t answer directly! – are what the future holds for this project.

Will this lead to electric vehicles with more speed and a higher range some day? We’ve got to believe the answer is yes or Ski-Doo (and others) wouldn’t be making the big investment in the vehicles’ development.

When will that happen? We snowmobilers are standing in a long line of folks in pretty much all transportation categories wondering when battery technology will advance to that point where electric vehicles can serve enthusiasts’ need and not just those with short-term rental or utility purposes in mind.  

One thought on “Ski-Doo’s Groundbreaking 2024 Grand Touring Electric

  • Avatar for Chris Cachor

    It absolutely will. The only thing holding back electric powered vehicles is energy storage. Once the supply chains are cranking out battery packs with the energy density in the ballpark of gasoline/kerosene you’ll see a lot of these applications switch. We’ve got about 10-15 years to get there. The next generation solid-state packs are quite close and don’t require as much thermal management as Li-ion, but there’s more to go. Thankfully that work is accelerating.


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