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Alaskan Electric Snowmobile Wins

UAF electrical engineering student and SAE Zero Emissions team co-captain Isaac Thompson drives the team's electric snowmachine during the acceleration event at the 2012 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge held in Houghton, Mich. March 5-9. Photo courtesy of Michael Golub

The engineering students at The University of Alaska Fairbanks have won first prize at the annual snowmobile design competition. They replaced the gas engine with an electric one for a pollution free machine.  Team captain Isaac Thompson said the change didn’t affect performance. One judge said  ,”Holy Mother of God, this thing is fast.”

The National Science Foundation funds the zero emissions challenge. The challenge presented in the zero emissions category was to convert a standard snowmachine to one that uses battery power and has zero emissions, while reducing noise and maintaining low cost and performance. Judged by price, weight, range, performance/drivability, cold start, static display and noise level, University of Alaska Fairbanks sled earned the top spot after the week long competition held in Houghton, Mich. March 5-9.

So just how well do these thing perform, check out the video.

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