Jörn startup unveils electic snowmobile

Another significant milestone was reached for the Vidde electric snowmobile project this past weekend. At a launch event held at the iconic Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, the final design of the pre-series model, named "Alfa," was unveiled.

Christian Lystrup och Yalda Mirbaz från Vidde Snow Mobility på en av elnsnöskotrarna från förserien.

Christian Lystrup och Yalda Mirbaz från Vidde Snow Mobility på en av elnsnöskotrarna från förserien.

Foto: Lars Westerlund

Jörn2024-02-20 09:00

In recent weeks, the workshop at Storklinta ski center, outside Jörn, has been a hive of activity. This is where the pre-series snowmobiles are being assembled, soon to undergo testing by various entities like Icehotel, Skistar, Skellefteå Kraft, and Sveaskog.

– The feedback we receive will be used to refine the snowmobiles, explained Christian Lystrup, co-founder and CEO of Jörn-based Vidde Snow Mobility AB. 

– We aim to thoroughly test and iterate on the design before full-scale production begins.

During a visit to Storklinta, Norran witnessed the final touches being applied to the pre-series snowmobiles by Lystrup, prototype builder Stefano Mitra from Pininfarina (the renowned Italian design firm behind iconic vehicles like the Ferrari Testarossa and the Pininfarina Battista), and their team of technicians.

Vidde Snow Mobility collaborated with the industry organization Fordonskomponentgruppen to secure suitable component suppliers. 

–The parts arrive in pre-assembled packages, making the assembly process at Storklinta efficient, Lystrup noted.

Viddes vd Christian Lystrup och prototypbyggaren Stefano Mitra från designföretaget Pininfarina i verkstaden på Storklinta.

Norran was among the first media outlets, alongside Amsterdam-based tech publication TNW, to test drive one of the pre-series snowmobiles at the Icehotel. 

– Experiencing the near-silent journey through this stunning landscape, surrounded by the sounds of nature, was truly remarkable, commented TNW journalist Sion Geschwindt after his test drive.

The Alfa boasts several groundbreaking features. It is designed to be the cleanest snowmobile ever created, significantly reducing emissions compared to traditional models. With a top speed exceeding 100 kilometers per hour, impressive acceleration, and powerful torque, the Alfa rivals the performance of even the best gasoline-powered machines.

–  We aimed to create a quiet, powerful, and stylish machine that can do everything a petrol-powered sled can, but without the negative environmental impacts, explains Lystrup.

The launch event offered partners, investors, Icehotel guests, and media representatives a chance to learn more about Vidde and experience the electric snowmobile firsthand. Since the initial unveiling of the functional prototype "Frank" in April 2023, the design has undergone significant improvements.

Sion Geshwindt, journalist på TNW testar Vidde.

– The most crucial change is likely the weight distribution, explained Lystrup. 

– By distributing the battery throughout the snowmobile, we've achieved better balance and a lower center of gravity.

Lystrup emphasized Vidde's focus on long-term sustainability, where components are designed for easy replacement when needed. 

– This will make it the world's most sustainable electric snowmobile, he declared.

Christian Lystrup med Viddes första registreringsskyltar.

He revealed that the design and software are nearing completion, and the battery has been successfully tested to maintain its charge down to -39°C without requiring an external charger. 

– Our focus now lies on further refining some mechanical aspects, he added.

Vidde Snow Mobility has secured 15 million kronor in invested capital and an additional 13 million kronor in grants from organizations such as Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency. 

– We're currently seeking another 20-30 million kronor in investment to kickstart production, and the outlook is very promising, said Yalda Mirbaz, co-founder and the company's financial lead.

Sedan funktionsprototypen Frank presenterades vid ett seminarium i Skellefteå i april 2023 har mycket förändrats på Vidde.

Following winter testing, serial production is expected to commence. The company has already received around 300 pre-orders.

– Our goal is to have a small production run in a dedicated factory by winter 2024, followed by gradual expansion, concluded  Lystrup.

Vidde blev väl fotograferad i samband med lanseringen
Under lanseringen fick deltagarna också testköra Vidde.
Efter vinterns tester ska serieproduktionen av Viddde inledas. Redan finns cirka 300 förhandsbeställningar.
Efter vinterns tester ska serieproduktionen av Viddde inledas. Redan finns cirka 300 förhandsbeställningar.
History of snowmobiles

The history of snowmobiles traces back to ingenious minds from various corners of the globe. Early accounts suggest that two brothers in Jämtland, Sweden, crafted the first "snow vehicle" by modifying a Ford Model T with skis on the front wheels and caterpillar tracks on the rear. Across the Atlantic, American inventor Carl Eliason built and patented a snowmobile design in 1927. Meanwhile, the 1930s saw Canadian Joseph-Armand Bombardier develop a revolutionary propulsion system using rubber-covered, toothed wheels and a matching rubber mat.

Källa: Norrbottens museum