June 9, 2022
Translated by Theron
The price of gasoline has skyrocketed and the quad travel budget risks being affected by this increase in black gold, which has a lot of meaning in its name here.
What are the alternatives to the heat engine? Electricity is naturally on everyone’s lips. Make no mistake, our activity will also be pushed to change to reduce GHG emissions into the atmosphere.
The Quebec government is moving in this direction. The sale of automobile thermal engines will be banned after 2035. Take the case of electric cars. They were entitled to government discounts. The financial motivation worked. Quebec purchased one out of every two electrified motor vehicles delivered to Canada!
21,351 new all-electric vehicles were sold in 2021 in La Belle Province, up 33% compared to the year before. The future is underway.
The detractors of all-electric have their arguments concerning the disadvantages and the pollution also existing in this engine. This text is not intended to relaunch a debate for or against, which can be found everywhere in the media.
Faced with the political and ecological desire for change, we must instead think about the special case of quads which travel off-road, both in summer and winter. They will need charging stations in remote locations or innovative solutions.
The pollution that experts are fighting is linked to greenhouse gases, and therefore to breathing. We must eliminate fumes in the air which will one day prevent us from breathing.
Zero pollution does not exist. Even cows are guilty of damage by the methane gas they send into the ozone layer.
Pollution can affect the air, water or land. The manufacture of batteries and their recycling mainly affect the earth, with the removal of precious materials and the burying of obsolete parts. Water can also be contaminated. These will be future projects to take into account to limit contamination. But currently, air is the element to be preserved.
We must be “aware”. (It is normal not to know this word. It has just been created by a school in Montreal and it has been made official by the Office québécois de la langue française.) Being conscious indicates that we are aware that the actions we take We ask today will have repercussions on the future, in English, “future minded”. In short, we must be part of the solution.
Même si nous ne représentons qu’un nombre réduit de véhicules, 420 000 VTT en 2020 pour un total de 6 800 000 véhicules plaqués au Québec, nous serons un jour montrés du doigt. Car c’est dans la nature humaine d’accuser les autres, et si possible les minorités, quand il y a un problème.
Manufacturers are engaged in research. In Quebec alone, the companies BRP and Taïga are working on the subject.
On the automotive side, Tesla has shaken up the world order by offering vehicles with acceptable autonomy and astonishing performance outputs. We will not forget Hyundai and Chevrolet who are on the podium.
For quads, there are additional requirements: finding accessible electricity on the trails and increasing autonomy, with the exception of winter when the batteries discharge more quickly.
One solution would be to allow quads and side-by-sides to travel by road to a car charging station. It’s a fairly complicated project to finalize because you would have to drive on the road network. This involves municipalities and both levels of government, but why not talk about it?
Another answer could come from manufacturers who manufacture interchangeable electric batteries. Rather than recharging the battery, it would be exchanged for a filled one.
The wait would be shorter, and recovery vehicles could bring the battery to the trail. A joint company was created by the four manufacturers Yamaha, Honda, KTM and Piaggio, the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC), to standardize their batteries. This concept initially intended for motorcycles could be adapted to four-wheelers.
There are other types of energy than battery-supplied electricity. A fuel cell (FCEV) could be a power solution.
Thermal engines could be adapted to receive new fuels such as biofuels, natural gas, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) or hydrogen.
The manufacturer Porsche is very advanced on a synthetic fuel which would reduce CO2 emissions into the air by 85%.
This ecological essence is made up of a mixture of water, CO2 and hydrogen which would be produced while respecting the environment. This eFuel fuel would not require any transformation on current vehicles and existing service stations. All that remains to be known is the final result of the tests, and the price per liter of this life-saving liquid...
Today, our gesture for the environment is to maintain our four-wheelers with thermal engines so that they release as little GHG as possible into the atmosphere. To do this, we must properly maintain our vehicles, mainly carburetor models. Because the mixing between air and gasoline is done mechanically and it is less precise than with injection. All gases burned by the engine are released into the air.
As a reminder, it is completely unnecessary to change an exhaust system when riding on trails. There is no need to seek performance to reach the authorized 50 km/h. And the famous proverb “Loud pipes save life” has no place in the woods. Our trails must be protected from noise pollution, which is part of pollution.
In 35 years, the federated clubs have done a fabulous job opening 33,000 km of trails all around the province. This network provides access to the different regions of Quebec. This economic and tourist heritage must be preserved.
Quad riders must retain their freedom to move around on these tracks which accept their very special and endearing vehicles. Being part of a quad club is also a way to socialize, to meet people as endearing as their quad.
There will be changes in the next ten years. We must trust the engineers who work on the energies of the future, or on the autonomy of batteries. They have not said their last word.
It's up to us to accept these changes and write the future of quad trails, without noise and chicanes!