Electric piste basher grooms cross-country ski trail in the Flumserberg ski area

Switzerland's first fully electric snow groomer has been undergoing tests in the Flumserberg ski resort in the canton of St. Gallen for several weeks. It comes from the Italian manufacturer Prinoth. Swiss eMobility specialist Designwerk is providing its mobile charger.

Image: Bergbahnen Flumserberg AG

The all-electric snow groomer has been tested in the Swiss mountains since December 2023. Bergbahnen Flumserberg, manufacturer Prinoth, and Designwerk, whose mobile charging station can charge the electric snow groomer in just under two hours, are cooperating on the project.

“The experience with the Prinoth Husky E-Motion and the fast charging station has so far been very positive,” says the Flumserberg Tourism office. The piste basher is extremely quiet, and the trail quality is excellent. Thanks to an eco mode retrofitted during the test, the vehicle has readjusted its maximum torque, increasing its performance by around 15 per cent. Nevertheless, according to the ski resort operator, it remains a challenge to maintain the extensive network of 55 kilometres of cross-country ski trails and winter hiking trails on a single battery charge.

“We are now trying to plan the preparation sequence so that we can travel as energy-efficiently as possible and recharge at the charging station halfway through the route. It requires sensitivity on the driver’s part and a lot of thinking and rethinking. As mentioned, the machine still needs to be tested to meet the requirements of our demanding infrastructure,” says Managing Director Rolf Blumer. However, the snow groomer has worked very well so far and can be recommended with a clear conscience. “Although the purchase costs for the electric vehicle are higher than for a diesel machine, the electricity price pays for itself over the years, and the sustainability concept is just as important here.”

“Pist bashers move heavy loads such as snow over long distances and work in difficult terrain. Low temperatures, snow, and steep inclines place high demands not only on the vehicle,” Designwerk also points out.

The Winterthur-based company is contributing a mobile 88 kW fast charging station to the project, which charges the vehicle “even in outdoor use with a continuous charging capacity of 84 kW and 1000 volts.”

flumserberg.ch, designwerk.com (both in German)


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