An electric skateboard is essentially a modified skateboard propelled by an electric motor. The first known electric skateboard was first developed in 1975. In fact, the first electric skateboard was actually not electric! The Motorboard, was actually powered by gasoline. These boards were not marketable and essentially banned because of many safety concerns. Main concerns surrounding the motorized boards included noise produces by the engines and the gasoline fueled engines creating air pollution.
In late 1990’s Louie Finkle introduced the world to a new type of skateboard which was the new wireless form of electric skateboards. The components of modern electric skateboards includes: a brush-less motor, electric speed control(ESC), a transmitter, battery and battery charger. Most boards have a companion app that essentially turns your smart phone into a dashboard. Electric skateboards all have an electric motor that is driven by a lithium battery. Different skateboards have different batteries in them. Depending on the size of the battery, most of the skateboards are capable of going anywhere from ten to twelve miles in range. While some have move as fast as 25 miles per hour, other top out around 15 miles per hour. Electric skateboards have come into the public eye in recent years with several companies and their efforts to raise money through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. A few of the most popular electric skateboards on the market are; The Inboard M1 ($1400), The Boosted Dual+ ($1500) and the more affordable Yuneec E-Go ($632).
There are some hazards that are associated with the electric longboarding industry and road accidents are one of the major concerns. Hence, under recent legislation, it’s been cleared that electric skateboards cannot cross the speed limit of 20 Mph. In fact, the 1977 ban on electric skateboards in California was just recently lifted. Some cities like New York currently ban the use of balancing scooters on public roads, it is not clear if this applies to electric skateboards, It is also wise to mention these that any loss associated with electric skateboards are not covered by most insurance policies.
The Boosted Dual + proves to be one of the most advanced electric skateboards with Twin brushless motors reside in the rear, allowing you to tackle hills with a 25-percent grade and cruise around for up to 6 or 7 miles depending on the conditions. The bamboo deck also provides the board with a fair amount of flex, which essentially acts like suspension when navigating rough roads using the included hand held controller. The Boosted Dual +also boasts the leading industry battery technology providing the consumer 2 options. The 1st standard battery option provides 99 watt hours of for 6-7 miles of range. The 2nd option offers a 199 watt hours for 12-14 miles range of travel. In addition, the electric skateboard is certified for passenger airline travel, provides a remote that controls your speed and also provides connectivity with iphones and watch apps. This new mode of transportation is popular among teens and young adults, despite the heft price tag and some concerns over safety and use on public roads. There are no signs that this rapidly developing market for electric skateboards is slowing down.
*Contribution by Aallan and Sonja Mckenzie.