The Orca of Taiga Motors: a first electric marine motorcycle

CHRONICLE / After the electric snowmobile, here is the all-electric watercraft! Taiga Motors, the young startup founded by three Quebecers, last week launched its newest baby, the Orca.
Obviously, the watercraft season is coming to an end, as the summer officially ended late last week. But, we must admit that Taiga is positioned in a market that will open a market probably larger than that of the snowmobile.

The young plant plans to produce 500 units of Orca, destined for the North American and European markets. And probably to cushion the cost of production of the first units, these 500 PWCs will certainly be more expensive than a marine gasoline motorcycle.

The first 100 Orca, with the Founder Edition designation, will sell for US $ 28,000 ($ 37,115), deliverable to North American customers in the summer of 2020. The next 400 will cost $ 24,000 ($ 31,815).

At that price, does Taiga have orders? “Yes, there are several people who have ordered personal watercraft from the very beginning,” says Gabriel Bernatchez, one of Taiga’s three co-founders with Paul Achard and Samuel Bruneau.

“A lot of people did it at the unveiling. We already have a lot of orders for the Orca. We aim to go into production with a more affordable version in future years, “he adds.

This “more affordable” version of which Mr. Bernatchez mentions should be offered at $ 14,000 ($ 18,558). Equivalent to high-end models of gasoline watercraft.

Often criticized by lakeside residents, these lakes produce pollutant emissions and noise up to 90 decibels at a distance of up to 100 feet. Taiga promises that there will be no polluting emissions and a silent hike.

And as for the price that may seem expensive, Taiga offers a dashboard with built-in computer, offering LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. All this coupled to a GPS.

More than 100 km / h

The Orca, with its 134 kW electric motor (equivalent to 180 horsepower), can run at a maximum speed of 104 km / h. The cruising speed is set at 70 km / h.

The 23 kWh battery, weighing 125 kilograms, can provide up to two hours of use, under normal conditions. “Based on our market analysis, the average utilization of our target market is less than two hours per use. This is not the entire market, “says Bernatchez.

Are PWCs waterproof? Yes, assures the co-founder. “The whole system is waterproof, so no problem on that. The system was designed to go into the water. ”

Other projects?

And when you ask Mr. Bernatchez if there are other types of vehicles in Taiga’s sights, after the PWC and the snowmobile, he says, “Right now we have a plan for outboard motors, but not yet for ATVs and other recreational vehicles. ”

And those who are wondering when Taiga’s electric snowmobiles should arrive on the market, Bernatchez says they are supposed to be produced for the 2020-2021 winter season.

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