This goofy-looking thing is a MoonBike. It’s the world’s first all-electric snow bike and the company behind the sweet ride is working on getting this speedy mini snowmobile to Australia.
The MoonBike is an eco-friendly alternative to a snowmobile. It’s 100 per cent electric and therefore comes with the promise of not only being kind to the environment, but also quiet, easy to ride and, of course, fun.
It travels up to 41 km/h, which although doesn’t seem like much, electric bikes are generally capable of around 32 km/h. Snowmobiles are around the 150 km/h range, but they leave far more of a mark on the Earth than a lightweight electric snow bike will.
MoonBikes wants to revolutionise snow mobility and the company describes itself as sitting at the intersection of leisure and transportation. We’ve seen attempts at electric snowmobiles before, but this play feels a lot more accessible, given it’s a bike.
A MoonBike is only 225 cm long (including the skis), less than 70 cm wide (including the handlebars) and its maximum height is 1 m. It also weighs 82 kg without anyone on it, but 70 kg if the battery is removed.
Its battery life depends on several variables, such as the terrain and conditions it’s ridden on, but typically, the MoonBike will last up to 35 km when in Eco Mode. In Sport Mode, this is reduced to 20 to 25 km. You can double these distances by adding a second battery, however.
The MoonBike charges either via a battery charger cable that plugs directly into the bike or by removing the battery and charging it separately. With a standard MoonBike charger, it takes 2.5 hours to charge a battery that has been depleted to 50 per cent. To fully charge a battery that is completely drained, it’ll take just under 5.5 hours. With a fast charger, it takes just over an hour to charge a MoonBike battery that has been depleted to 50 per cent and 2.5 to get to full.
Contrary to what you might think, very low temperatures do not affect the MoonBike’s battery life, as long as it’s switched on. The battery box is actually heated and provides protection against the cold in temperatures down to -25 degrees Celsius.
It’s designed to handle any type of snow (powder, packed snow, ice), but the steepness of the terrain must be at max 40 per cent and the snow depth 30cm. It can’t go on sand, grass, rocks or water.
MoonBikes was born in the French Alps, and active in the European market since 2018. The company is now in 25 countries after launching in North America just over a year ago and more recently Kazakhstan and Iceland. It’s now got a second HQ in Boulder, Colorado to help with its global expansion plans. The company told Gizmodo Australia these plans include bringing the MoonBike down under.
“Anywhere there’s snow, that’s where we want to be,” a spokesperson added.
It’s still early days for MoonBike in our market, there’s not even an Australian website at this stage, but it’s prepared for the regulatory and legal requirements it needs to get the bike over here.
Currently, the bike is available in red, black and white for $US8,900, which converts to just under $13,000 in Aussie terms. When the MoonBike comes to Australia, chances are it’ll be more around the $15,000 mark.
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