E-mobility investment offensive: Go-ahead given for development and production of new electric drive components in Upper Austria
With its innovative projects such as the emission-free Lynx HySnow snowmobile or the high-performance e-kart series, the domestic engine manufacturer Rotax is considered a pioneer in sustainable drive models in the leisure and powersports sector. Now, parent company BRP has gone one step further and will also offer an electric model in every product line by the end of 2026. To achieve this ambitious goal, BRP plans to invest over $300 million in development and production over the next few years. The corresponding high-performance electric drive components will be developed for this purpose in Gunskirchen, Upper Austria - this will ensure new jobs and further technological upswing in the region.
Gunskirchen, Austria, Mai 31, 2022 – From snowmobiles to on-road and off-road vehicles to jet boats: BRP, the market leader in the world of powersports vehicles, will introduce electric models in each of its product lines by the end of 2026. To achieve this ambitious goal, BRP is investing more than $300 million in product development, specialized equipment, infrastructure, production tools and facilities over the next few years. The first new all-electric model line for Can-Am electric motorcycles is expected to launch as early as mid-2024. Additional e-models across all product lines will follow.
"We are very pleased with BRP's decision to take such an important next step in the future of electric mobility. It is a trend-setting decision that is also of crucial importance for our location. The required electric vehicle components will be developed in Gunskirchen in the future and will also be produced here. With this investment offensive, we are not only ensuring a further technological upswing in the region, but also creating many new highly qualified jobs over the next few years," says a delighted Wolfgang Rapberger, GM BRP-Rotax / Representative of the Management Board. "With our expertise in the development and production of high-performance electric drive components, together with BRP we will establish new standards in the field of sustainable leisure and power sports vehicles."
Upper Austria and Canada: BRP's new electric path.
After evaluating several concepts, BRP decided to develop a modular Rotax electric powerpack technology. This technology is already used sporadically in existing Rotax-E engines and will henceforth form the core of BRP's entire electric product lines. To this end, BRP is expanding its development infrastructure for Rotax electric components in Gunskirchen, Upper Austria, and has also established the new BRP Electric Vehicle Development Centre in its Canadian home town of Valcourt, Quebec. While the focus in Canada is on the development of chargers and batteries as well as the final motor integration into the vehicle, the high-performance electric warranty components are developed and produced in Austria. Equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including several sophisticated test benches and dynamometers as well as state-of-the-art robotic manufacturing cells, the two sites are well prepared for the coming years.
Can-Am motorcycles return with innovative electric powertrain in 2024
BRP is taking a first step by introducing the all-electric Can-Am motorcycle model line, returning to its roots as a motorcycle manufacturer. To mark the 50th anniversary of the successful brand, the company will launch newly developed electric-powered motorcycles in mid-2024.
The first Can-Am motorcycle was sold back in 1973 and immediately dominated motocross racing and endurance races. Many bikers still rave about their experiences with the dirt bikes of that time. Electric motorcycles are now adapted to a wider range of user needs half a century later.
The perfection of electric travel
The starting signal for the electrification of BRP and BRP-Rotax products was given several years ago, strongly driven by research & development at the Gunskirchen site. In 2017, the first electric racing kart Rotax THUNDeR set an important milestone for electric mobility in the powersports sector. As a follow-up project "E20", the e-kart, which was also developed by Rotax, has been thrilling racing fans for years.
Rotax set another highlight in 2020 with the Lynx HySnow project, the first emission-free snow vehicle concept powered by an e-drive with hydrogen fuel cells. After an intensive test phase under real-life conditions, the Lynx HySnow, including hydrogen refueling station, has been in real operation in Hinterstoder since January 2021.
"Over the years, we have developed and manufactured several battery-electric, hybrid-electric and even fuel cell-electric vehicles. With the new strategy, BRP's electric journey moves further into business focus with a clear vision and firm plans, ushering in a new era of electric mobility," says Wolfgang Rapberger.