Global charging giant ABB is giving clout to the electric mobility movement by providing infrastructure to another made-in-Canada EV developer
Canada’s snowmobiling community got a piece of good news this unseasonably warm November morning. (No, it’s not an unexpected fall of white gold if you’re living outside of Edmonton.)
ABB, a global force in technology and transportation, will be providing chargers to Taiga Motors to sell in tandem with its line of electric snowmobiles, which are set to begin delivery in the coming months.
“We are excited to play an integral role in making the rollout of the world’s first off-road vehicles a success while reinforcing our commitment to sustainability,” said Frank Muehlon, head of ABB’s global business for E-mobility Infrastructure Solutions in a press release.
ABB is providing Taiga with their compact Terra AC wallbox and Terra DC wallbox charging stations. The DC fast charger — retailing for around $9,000 — would give a full charge to a snowmobile in about 40 minutes.
The target customers are both individual Taiga snowmobile owners as well as commercial operators such as ski resorts and retail and government outlets in northern communities.
“It’s pretty exciting from a global perspective rolling out new vehicles and having access to Level 2 chargers and then the DC wallbox chargers. Those hit [the] sweet spot of under-one-hour charging for quite an affordable price,” says Samuel Bruneau, Taiga Motors CEO in an interview with Electric Autonomy Canada.
From an emissions standpoint, the impact is also significant — one gas-powered snowmobile emits as many GHGs as 40 passenger cars, says Taiga. The company plans on delivering 2,000 vehicles (both electric snowmobiles and jet skis) over the next 12 months.
Partnerships part of a larger strategy?
This is the second such partnership deal ABB has made with a Canadian company in as many months. In October, ABB became a service partner with Lion Electric Co., providing them with “its complete charging equipment product line” to be sold by the electric bus maker’s infrastructure division.
ABB is also responsible for powering two public bus fleets in Ontario and they are in partnership with New Flyer, the Manitoba-based maker of electric buses. Those deals were made public last year.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Taiga Motors and Lion Electric. It’s because we want to be first in innovation,” says Eric Deschenes, ABB Canada country managing director and head of electrification business in an interview with Electric Autonomy Canada.
“We have a long history of jumpstarting innovation — it’s our legacy. We really want to start at the development of the technology rather than reverse engineer. For us working in concurrent engineering is way more important than trying to sell a product to an OEM.”
It’s this last point that seems to encapsulate ABB’s strategy going forward: finding nimble and energetic electric OEMs to collaborate with to drive the transition to electric mobility forward.
Certainly Taiga sees itself that way.
“It’s Taiga’s goal to really pioneer the concept of a backcountry charging network. You’ve got to break the paradigm where people maybe think I can’t go as far or access as much with gas,” says Bruneau.
“We want to reverse that and show you can access more with electric because you can’t have off-road gas stations, but you can have off-grid rechargeable batteries. [ABB] have been willing to look to the future to partner and grow in this market.”
Canada offers unique opportunity
Both Taiga and Lion have seen explosive growth of late in their respective year over year sales. This, coupled with the success of other Canadian electric OEMs, is attracting growing interest from international companies looking for investment and partnership opportunities in the EV sector.
It offers further encouragement that the space is one to watch and that Canada remains well positioned to be a global leader in EVs.
“What we are seeing now in Canada is there is clearly a cluster of new technology — green transportation — that is starting,” says Deschenes. “Canada has a long history of delivering that green technology.”