Goodbye snowmobiles. Welcome the silent, electric MoonBike

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There’s a silent revolution underway on snowy slopes across the globe. It is being led by packs of ultra-quiet, lightweight, electric snowpeds. And leading this uprising is French aeronautical engineer Nicolas Muron. 

Ladies and gentlemen — say hello to the MoonBike and the world of electric snowmobility.

Looking like a cross between a moped, a snowmobile, and a ski, the MoonBike is specifically designed for shredding powder on mountain trails. It’s perhaps the most fun you can have in the snow without choking the planet or pissing off skiers. 

Think of it as a sophisticated person’s snowmobile. It’s cleaner and quieter but also smaller, lighter, and more manoeuvrable, which makes it more appealing to a broader demographic.

“We’re on a mission to democratise snowmobility,” CEO and founder Nicolas Muron tells TNW. “The average snowmobile user is male, over 50 years old, and a powersports enthusiast who loves gas, fumes, and noise. We’re a little different.” 

But disrupting an industry doesn’t come without backlash — especially when petrolheads are involved. Macron tells us that “haters” regularly take to social media to vent their frustrations at the snowbike. But the founder takes this in his stride: “To me, it shows us that we’re heading in the right direction,” he says. 

Moonbikes have landed 

Muron came up with the idea of the Moonbike in 2015 when visiting his grandparents’ farm in the French Alps. In winter the only vehicles used to get around are cars and snowmobiles, but the engineer thought there must be a better way. He envisioned something like an ebike for the snow that was lightweight, easy to maintain, and sustainable — but with plenty of power.

After two years of R&D, Muron arrived at the final design. Built from a steel frame that encases the patented hub motor/track system, the snowbike weighs just 87kg — three times less than an average snowmobile. It also has ten times fewer components, half of which are available off-the-shelf. 

The 3kW removable battery, which can be charged in a regular socket, propels the bike to a max speed of 42kph. It offers up to 1.5 hours of riding time, or 3 hours if you opt for the double battery system. Not unsurprisingly for an EV, the little snowbike packs a lot of torque, which means it can climb up slopes or traverse thick snow with ease.