Hybrid PistenBully provides perfect skiing conditions
Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG has been manufacturing piste-grooming vehicles for ski resorts since 1969. Over this period, the global market leader in this sector has sold around 19,000 piste-grooming vehicles in 68 countries. Its latest innovation is the PistenBully 600 E+ ‒ the first diesel-electric piste-grooming vehicle in Alpine history. Since December, the E+ has been at work in the Swiss resort of St. Moritz – with products from HUBER+SUHNER.
Over the last few years, hybrid drives have become synonymous with environmentally friendly mobility. Electric drives are now powering many off-road commercial vehicles, such as agricultural and construction vehicles, forklift trucks - and even piste-grooming vehicles.
The PistenBully 600 E+ from Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG is the first ever diesel-electric piste-grooming vehicle and underscores the company's focus on sustainability. The vehicle's high efficiency rating cuts fuel consumption by 20%, reducing both pollutant emissions and operating costs. The environmentally friendly PistenBully is driven by powerMELA® hybrid technology from Sensor-Technik Wiedemann GmbH. Energy produced by the generators delivers power to the electric track drive and the rotary snow plough.
Like a spider in its web
The five compact 140 kW motors are connected using sheathed battery leads, the RACS connection system and a high-voltage distributor box from HUBER+SUHNER that sits at the centre of the entire system, like a spider in its web, and provides the system backbone. A separate relay box from HUBER+SUHNER was integrated to disengage the rotary snow plough. These connections need to be particularly well sealed and rugged to ensure safe and reliable operation in snowy and cold conditions despite the high currents they carry. Kässbohrer placed its confidence in the wide-ranging expertise of HUBER+SUHNER in matters of high-voltage distribution systems: the company was able to provide the PistenBully manufacturer with a custom-built complete solution from a single source that was capable of meeting its enormously challenging requirements.
PistenBully 600 E+ in series production
The hybrid PistenBully also satisfies the demands of ski resort operators: on 6 December 2012, Engadin St. Moritz Mountains AG in the Swiss resort of St. Moritz took delivery of the first ever series production version of the 600 E+ and it is now in successful operation. The second vehicle is being supplied to customers in the Allgäu region of Germany. It is therefore likely that further hybrid PistenBully vehicles from Kässbohrer will soon be out grooming alpine pistes - ensuring that ski guests can enjoy perfect skiing conditions day in day out.