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Snowpig: Golf cart gets pimped into an electric snow-blower

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January 23, 2013

Canadian eco-enthusiast Dan Baker has converted a golf cart into an electric snow-blowing ...

Canadian eco-enthusiast Dan Baker has converted a golf cart into an electric snow-blowing machine

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Canadian eco-enthusiast Dan Baker is at it again, pimping a golf cart into an electric snow-blowing machine. Last year Baker home built the Firefly solar-powered boat from scratch and this winter he’s determined not to be snowed in.

Dubbed “Snowpig,” Baker built the snow blower as an alternative to an ATV/utility vehicle, with the added bonus of it being emissions free.

“As far as I know this is the only vehicle of its type,” Baker told Gizmag. “I have seen some lawn tractors and snow-blowers converted to electric but none that have a full enclosure and features like mine.”

All together Baker spent about 30 hours customizing the used golf cart by installing a lift kit, converting the snow blower to electric and adding lights and a cab enclosure. He also equipped the Snowpig with a stereo, some heavy duty circuits for a couple of heaters and an electric coffee warmer mug to keep the chills away when on his 45 minute snow-clearing runs.

“With the subwoofer I installed I have an app on my phone that I use to play realistic truck engine sounds when naive people ask to hear the motor running," says Baker. "Too funny!”

Baker says one of the biggest hurdles in building the Snowpig was keeping the costs down. Being unsure if the project would even work, he didn't want to spend a lot of money on something that might not be feasible. The end result, however, is a functional 25 hp snow-clearing machine that cost CA$2,400 (US$2399) to complete.

“I looked for a long time for used components that would keep costs down,” says Baker. “As well I firmly believe that in order to change the typical person's reliance on fossil fuels the alternative needs to be cost effective and not priced out of reason.”

By taking matters into his own hands, Baker is saving substantial weekly snow clearing costs for himself and the other residents of the private road located in Fraser’s Lake, Nova Scotia. “Since January 6 I have used it to clear five snowfalls,” he says. “I have also used it twice to apply sand to the road with a tow behind spreader when it got icy. We are expected to get another storm come this weekend so it is quickly paying for itself, as myself and the residents of the road I live on were paying $80 for a contractor to plow it.”

In addition to the financial savings, Baker is also doing his bit for the environment. Since the Snowpig is an all-electric vehicle it doesn't burn gasoline like the contracted truck which would normally clear the road. “That truck would normally consume 5-10 liters (1.5- 3 gallons) of gasoline per visit,” says Baker. “As well, it is a snow-blower that can fit into smaller areas, offsetting a couple of neighbors from using their own gasoline powered snow-blowers.”

According to Baker the Snowpig uses approximately 4 kWh of energy to clear the 400 foot (121 m) dirt lane and surroundings. “We still haven't got any big storms, to date the most was 10cm (3.9 inches) which used 6 kWh,”says Baker. “But I'm hopeful and anxious to see how it works if we get a big 15+cm (6+inches) snowfall.”

You can check out Baker putting the Snowpig to work in the video below.

Source: Dan Baker

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema.   All articles by Bridget Borgobello
5 Comments

How much coal is burned to charge it?

Slowburn
23rd January, 2013 @ 11:23 pm PST

@Slowburn, well it depends where in the world you are. For example in Angola, NOTHING since Angola is all Hydro. (Only problem is that there is not that much snow in Angola to start off.)

Well then.... Norway also 99% Hydro, and they even have some snow!!

Riaanh
24th January, 2013 @ 03:28 am PST

Canada creates 95% of its electricity from hydro power. The other 5% comes from natural gas.

I think it is a great project. He should get together with a golf cart manufacturer and help them create new markets.

If you think about it, with the new lithium ion batteries the golf cart industry may be able to break into existing markets which are dominated by gas powered vehicles.

PrometheusGoneWild.com
24th January, 2013 @ 07:02 am PST

Congratulations to Dan Baker for an ingenious creation and some slick engineering. Perhaps an entrepreneur would like to take up the gauntlet and sell an adaptation kit to fit standard golf carts so others can make dual use of theirs.

Alien
24th January, 2013 @ 07:53 am PST

A set of chains or studded tires and you have something very useful here...

Mirmillion
24th January, 2013 @ 08:23 pm PST
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