What do you get when you mix Mario Kart, electric snowmobiles and European whimsy? Bobsla e-sleds!
Bobsla electric snowmobiles are the brainchild of inventor Sergey Ignatyev, CEO of Bobsla GmbH. The company is based in Fulpmes, Austria, near Innsbruck, which is known as the capital of alpine winter sports.
“The first time we tested them, we found how interesting they are to drive—sharp perception of speed, driftable, no risk of overturning and instant acceleration,” Ignatyev said. “Sure, we may develop Bobsla into a formula car, but every formula car starts as a go-kart.”
Although Bobsla may be a newbie in the snowmobile market (founded in 2019), this startup company is capturing the imagination of snow go-kart lovers across the world. Bobsla e-sleds are lightweight and can ride comfortably overtop of groomed trails.
“I believe electrification is an important thing,” Ignatyav said. “If we do not care about CO2 emissions, we will soon have no snow at all. We must change it. The snow should remain clean.”
As it is right now, the current version of Bobsla e-sleds are typically used on race courses made of groomed snow at Scandanavian resorts. Ignatyev expects his Bobsla e-sleds to be available for private usage across the world within the next five years and plans to develop a sled capable of travelling through deep snow in the future.
“Electrification of snowmobiles is hard and expensive,” said Ignatyev. “Normally, sleds require a lot of power and can sink in snow. I’ve only seen one good e-sled in Europe that does not pollute and is not boring—and it costs a lot.”
Besides being electric, Bobsla snowmobiles are durable. Since they’re meant to be driven similar to go-karts, Ignatyev anticipated roughhousing into his design.
“We’ve done rollover and crash tests with very aggressive styles of driving,” he said. “Only small parts were destroyed. Sure you can break the vehicle, but not the rider. It is the top importance for us as a startup.”
North American snowmobilers will have to wait a little longer to try out a Bobsla e-sled (due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic). But when the time comes for Ignatyev to show off his invention outside of Scandinavia, he knows there will be a market waiting.
“We have inquiries from North America every week,” he said. “The U.S. and Canada are #1 and #3 for website views. The U.S. and Canada have given us a warm welcome.”
No matter how events play out in the future, Ignatyev will continue to develop and promote his fascinating Bobsla e-sleds.
“I love Bobsla and snowmobiles,” he said. “These vehicles bring a lot of fun on snow!”
What makes Bobsla special:
- Drift and enormous agility
- Easy to learn—80 per cent of people learn to drive it in one-two minutes
- Electric—no pollution
- Instant acceleration
- Low position
- Safe for races
- Silent—you can talk with a friend driving alongside you
- Stainless steel and aluminum—no rust