The future of hitting the water on a PWC could be a lot quieter than you think.
All-electric PWCs seem to be coming as an onslaught of these machines being revealed this year, with the latest coming from unknown maker Taiga Motors and one of the biggest names in the industry, Sea-Doo.
Sea-Doo revealed an entire lineup of all-electric off-road vehicles in early September of 2019, including a Sea-Doo model. Sadly no details came with the reveal, although it shows the companies clear intention to push into the world of electric propulsion.
“BRP has been working for some time on how to create e-vehicles to bring new experiences to potential and existing riders. As we’ve said, it was never a question of “if’’, but “when’’. We are truly excited about electric and see it as a potential opportunity for our business,’’ said Denys Lapointe, Senior Vice-President, Design, Innovation and Creative Services.
The latest electric PWC to be revealed is the Orca from Taiga Motors. To see how how it stacks up, let’s see how it compares to one of the most powerful Sea-Doo gas-powered models.
Taiga is promising two hours of “typical driving “on a full charge and a top speed of 104 km/h (65 mph). Horsepower is rated at 180, and the 23kWh battery pack directly drives an impeller jet pump, exactly like you’d find on a gas-powered unit.
Taiga says that the machine can be left up to 5 years unplugged and still be ready to go, while it will come with a 5 year/20,000km warranty. Low temperatures won’t affect it either, so no winterization is required. Both fresh and salt water are fine for the Orca and the machine uses a closed-loop cooling system.
The Orca is a two-seater and has a weight limit of just 400 pounds. Overall size of the unit checks in at 2.90 meters (9.5 ft) long, 1.2 meters (3.9 ft) wide, 1.01 meters (3 ft) tall. For comparison, the Sea-Doo RTX-X 300 is 11.32 feet long, 4.1 feet wide, and 3.7 feet tall.
Not all the charging details were revealed by Taiga, though we have a sense for how long it will take. On a standard 110V plug, Taiga calls it an “overnight” charge, while with an optional DC fast charger, the brand says that the unit will regain 80 percent of its charge in 20 minutes.
Talking about price, Taiga has listed the base number at $24,000, while there will be the Founders Edition avaiable with unique styling that will sell for $28,000.
So how does that stack up to what’s out there on the market right now? At 180 horsepower, this is a middle of the road model when you compare it to both Sea-Doos and Waverunners. Looking specifically at the RTX-X 300, one of the highest performing models in the Sea-Doo showroom, the Orca falls short in top speed by just 4 mph, even though it trails in horsepower by over 100.
That is thanks to the Orca’s relatively light weight, coming in at 580 pounds ready to ready. A unit like the RTX-X comes in at 829 pounds dry, while the lightest Sea-Doo GTI, a more direct competitor for this electric machine, weights in at 689 pounds, still making the Orca seem light.
Cruising range is also important, and the Orca’s two-hours of “typical performance” running is a less than what you’ll get from a gas-powered unit. Running at optimal cruising speed, the RTX-X 300 is good for around 3.5 hours of running, while a lightweight unit like the Spark Trixx can manage over 4 hours of range.
|Taiga Orca||Sea-Doo RTX-X 300||Sea-Doo Spark Trix|
|Weight (lbs)||580||829 (dry weight)||439|
|Top Speed (mph)||65||69||50|
|Range||2 hours||3.6 hours||4 hours|
Let us know what you think about the all-electric PWC in the comments below.