The electric development aims to reduce the environmental impact of tourism in Manitoba
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Spotted: On the Hudson Bay in the far north of Manitoba’s subarctic, the little town of Churchill is known for its polar bears, the northern lights and beluga whales. For this reason, it has become a hot tourist destination, and visitors can book a safari to see the bears from raised tundra vehicles. Until recently, these tundras have run on diesel. However, a family-run excursion company, Frontiers North Adventures, has launched a concept for the first Electric Vehicle Tundra Buggy.
The EV Tundra Buggy, whilst still a proof-of-concept project, aims to reduce the environmental impact of tourism in Manitoba. “By starting the conversion of our fleet with this first EV Tundra Buggy, Frontiers North is taking meaningful steps towards reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and creating new clean-tech jobs,” explained CEO of Frontiers North, John Gunter.
The new Tundra Buggy was converted from one of the Frontier’s diesel vehicles that were first used in 1979. According to the company, they take them on wildlife safaris in summer and fall, and travel across the frozen Churchill River during winter to see the Northern Lights.
A repurposed battery from an electric bus makes the EV Tundra Buggy carbon-free as well as eliminating noise pollution.
The vehicle was designed in collaboration with Winnipeg’s Red River College Vehicle Technology and Energy Centre (VTEC). Funding was also received through Manitoba’s recent Conversation and Climate Fund, as well as from its Vehicle Technology Centre (VTCI), an NGO association that supports Manitoba’s heavy vehicle manufacturing sector through promoting the development of innovative technologies.
Written By: Katrina Lane