The MoonBike

There’s a new, sustainable way to get around in the Alps: the MoonBike. If you have never heard of it, read on.

As we found out in this article on Euronews, the idea of building an electric snow bike came to Nicolas Muron – CEO of MoonBikes – in 2015, when visiting his grandparents’ home in the French Alps. He made a simple observation: transportation options are infinite in the summer months, but when winter comes around, heavily polluting cars and snowmobiles are the only viable option.

Nicolas took on the challenge of finding a solution. He created the world’s first electric snow bike – an ambitious undertaking aimed at protecting the environment he calls home, and having some fun along the way.

A sustainable solution

At just 87 kilograms, the MoonBike provides a speedy alternative over three times lighter than a conventional snowmobile. But while ergonomic factors remain a key selling point for Muron’s design, his main drive lies in bringing sustainability to an industry infamous for its gas-guzzling.

Fossil-fuel powered skidoos cause significant damage to land cover, affecting vegetation growth throughout the year. In one hour, a typical snowmobile can emit as much hydrocarbon as a 2008 model automobile emits in 86,000 kilometres of driving. Their exhaust fumes contain dangerous levels of toxins, degrading air quality and altering snow chemistry for good.

The MoonBike, meanwhile, can cover up to 64 kilometres with a single 2.5 kilowatt battery. It can climb groomed slopes with a 40 per cent steepness, and boasts top speeds of up to 42 kilometres per hour. “In the powder snow, it seems like skiing or snowboarding,” says Muron. “Because it’s completely silent, you really feel like you’re sliding, you can really curve lines just like you do when skiing.”

You can watch a video of the MoonBike in action here.

Can we make skiing sustainable?

As environmental issues are on the rise, we’re all aware that skiing as we know it will not be sustainable in the long run (pun intended). We can of course re-think the activities we do in the mountains and find alternative ways to enjoy them. However, as shown by French ski resort Sierre Chevalier, there is a big margin of improvement in terms of sustainable measures that can be implemented. We can only hope this kind of positive innovations will become the norm for ski resorts in the near future.

Full article by The Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2022/feb/17/future-proofed-piste-sustainable-skiing-in-the-french-alps