Barrie – A tundra buggy used to transport tourists to see polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, has received a green makeover.

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Frontiers North Adventures says one of its Tundra buggies, which can seat 40 passengers, has switched from diesel to electric power.

The buggy was converted from an e-bus using re-used batteries. It is now the first of its kind in the world.

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“By transitioning from diesel to electric, we — in a typical season — we’ll reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by about 8.3 tons of carbon dioxide,” John Gunter, CEO and president of Frontiers North Adventures, told Granthshala. News.

Gunter said the Tundra buggy was shipped from Churchill to Winnipeg, where it was removed from its frame.

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“We rolled out the diesel undercarriage and we rolled in a new frame, new suspension, new axles, new propulsion, new motors,” he said.

In a blog post last week, the company said the project was undertaken in collaboration with Red River College to replace a buggy in its fleet.

Frontiers North Adventures said the collaboration was made possible through “support and technical services from Manitoba’s Center for Conservation and Climate Discovery, Vehicle Technology Center, and RRC Polytech’s Technology and Energy Center.”

In a blog post, the company said the new EV Tundra Buggy emits “zero emissions and minimal sound,” helping to provide a “low-intrusive experience for our guests and wildlife.”

According to the Post, the buggy was taken out on November 20 to roam the subarctic tundra near Churchill “among wild polar bears”.

In addition to contributing to the company’s reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, Gunter said, “The core delivery of this EV Tundra Buggy will be a silent touring experience for our guests.”

“The EV Tundra makes it easy for buggy machines to fade more into the background of any guest’s wildlife experience at Churchill,” Gunter said in a blog post.

The company said it plans to convert all 12 Tundra buggies in its fleet from diesel to electric power before the end of the decade.

“As we continue to replace our remaining tundra buggy fleet, our GHG emissions could be reduced by more than 3,600 tons of carbon dioxide over the next 25 years,” the blog post reads.