​Hurtigruten Intros eSled Snowmobiles

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 17, 2019

Hurtigruten Svalbard is introducing eSleds - Electric snowmobiles. Here from a test-run in Finland. PHOTO: AUROA POWERTRAINS

Hurtigruten Svalbard is introducing eSleds - Electric snowmobiles. Here from a test-run in Finland. PHOTO: AUROA POWERTRAINS

Norwegian shipping company Hurtigruten has announced a partnership between Hurtigruten’s land-based adventure travel company Hurtigruten Svalbard, and the Finnish start-up company, Aurora Powertrains.

The agreement is an industry first for snowmobiles, and starts a new era of silent and emission-free exploration by snowmobiling.

“Exploring some of the most pristine areas of our planet has never been eco-friendlier. We firmly believe the future of travel is emission-free. Introducing electrical solutions in our land-based operations and activities is a major step in this direction; with the introduction of eSleds, Hurtigruten Svalbard once again leads the way with groundbreaking green technology,” says Daniel Skjeldam, Hurtigruten CEO.

Debuting this winter, Hurtigruten Svalbard’s new eSled snowmobiles will offer modern-day explorers unforgettable wilderness experiences on the fascinating Svalbard archipelago. With snowcapped mountains as the backdrop, guests will explore the Arctic winter landscape like never before, with silent and emission-free outdoor adventures under the northern lights.

To fully utilize the green potential in the sustainable operation of electric snowmobiles, Hurtigruten Svalbard will set up a separate power supply including solar panels, a windmill, and battery packs for energy storage. The complete renewable energy solution will be delivered by Assemblin AS.

“Our eSleds and the entire operation will literally be powered by the midnight sun and Arctic winds. For us, this is only the beginning—we’re already planning similar solutions to be installed at our hotels and other parts of our Svalbard operation,” says Krisztina Uzonyi, Hurtigruten Svalbard destination director.

The electric snowmobiles are the latest in a number of battery-powered technology pushes by Hurtigruten and Hurtigruten Svalbard.

In July, Hurtigruten introduced the world’s first hybrid electric–powered expedition cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen. MS Fridtjof Nansen will follow in the spring of 2020, and several existing Hurtigruten ships will also be upgraded with battery packs and green technology.

In a partnership with the Norwegian start-up Brim Explorer, Hurtigruten Svalbard is introducing silent, electric-powered, and emission-free explorer catamarans.

With the eSled snowmobiles, Hurtigruten expands their battery revolution on shore—adding a truly unique experience for adventurous Arctic explorers.

“At Aurora Powertrains, we have a global mission to make ‘Snowmobiling Recharged.’ eSled is based on ready-made chassis, combined with revolutionary technology. This will take Hurtigruten Svalbard’s guests into the Arctic wilderness, without emissions, or the risk of disturbing wildlife,” says Ari Karjalainen, CEO of Aurora Powertrains, Ltd.

With long traditions as a mining society, electricity on Svalbard has until now been supplied by a coal-fired power plant.

“Our renewable energy solution will utilize the Arctic winds during winters and the 24 hours of midnight sun during summer. By joining forces, we are combining Assemblin’s green technology and Hurtigruten’s unparalleled ambitions, in a push for more sustainable solutions in the travel industry. We hope others will follow,” says Lars Rise, Assemblin project manager.  

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