Sept 24, 2019
Canadian Yachting magazine Publisher Greg Nicoll attended the media event and is seen here with the Orca.
On September 17th, at Toronto Harbourfront, Taiga Motors the Canadian company behind the world’s first electric snowmobiles, previewed their first electric personal watercraft, The Orca. The presentation was led off by Sean Gatesy, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Taiga who has 20 year’s of experience in the power sport industry. The company’s CEO and co-founder Sam Bruneau then took the stage to lead us through the history of the development of Taiga Motors along with his two co-founders, all of whom are McGill University engineering graduates in Montréal; Gabriel Bernatchez and Paul Achard. The three young men were on a team that won student engineering competitions for building electric racecars and later, an electric snowmobile. The presentation premiered a beautifully crafted video demonstrating the Orca’s, stunning lines with its signature lateral fins, ease of handling and gutsy performance qualities.
The plan was to design the Orca from a clean sheet of paper to create an elegant, powerful and exciting personal watercraft with the characteristics of its namesake. Unencumbered by the traditional combustion engine the team was able to construct a clean aerodynamically sculpted carbon fiber body with a unique seat that has the rider sitting lower to enhance stability and precision when carving turns on the water.
At 2.90 meters (9.5 ft) long, 1.2meters (3.9 ft) wide and 1.01 meters (3 ft) tall, the design breaks away from the tradition of building bigger and more powerful personal watercraft. With up to 180 horsepower and under 600lbs ready to drive, the Orca delivers one of the highest power to weight ratios in the industry while remaining nimble, silent, and practical for everyday use on the water.
The Orca features a color integrated digital display, the first of its kind. Everything that matters is readily accessible and configurable to the user, all in one place. Behind the dashboard is a powerful onboard computer offering intelligent connectivity via built in GPS mapping, LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Users can choose from a full suite of integrated sensors ranging from water temperature to cameras and sonar, to explore their environment.
Personal watercraft have been an exciting development providing fun on the water, however there have been detractors who complained about noise and pollution. The Orca continues the excitement but also seems to have conquered the aspects that for some, have been annoying.
The Orca’s electrification results in a personal watercraft like no other. The first 500 units will be ready for 2020 and badged as the “Founders Edition” models.
The highlight of the night was seeing the Orca first-hand. Unfortunately, there wasn’t the opportunity to take the Orca for run, but I’m sure you will be seeing them whiz by you in the very near future.
Plans are well underway with multiple enquiries in hand, to build a dealer network right across North America and Europe.
For more information go to: www.taigamotors.ca