Boosted Boards – The World’s Lightest Electric Vehicle
At first glance, it looks like any other skateboard. But in fact, this is the world’s lightest electric vehicle – and is capable of reaching speeds of 20mph. The Stanford students behind the Boosted Board say it could be used by tourists, commuters and for everyday getting around. They recently launched a Kickstarter fund to build the gadget – and have already raised over $260,000 – more than double their initial aim. The firm says the key to the board’s success will be how light it is.Stunning power on a great longboard.
Imagine 2000 watts (2.6 horsepower) on a 12 lb. longboard. You can do your favorite downhill tricks… going uphill. Or carve and carve… without ever pushing. More time riding and practicing, less time pushing and walking. We started with our favorite longboard components, like a Loaded Vanguard, Bear Grizzly 852s, Otang 80A In Heats, and Jehu bearings. While the final product’s trucks may change, the rest of those components will be there. We don’t believe that adding a motor means compromising your setup.
The Boosted Board has an electric motor and a small handheld remote control. It’s San Francisco inventors say it could be used to commute on.
It is powered by a small electric motor which uses a rubber belt to drive the rear wheels of the skateboard.
A tiny controller, worn like a ring, is used to control the throttle and brake.
The most practical longboard ever
That’s because in addition to being an amazing ride, it’s also the perfect last-mile vehicle. When it comes to short trips, you can finally stop worrying about parking, traffic, garages, gas stations, pedaling, bike locks, pushing, and hills. Run quick errands, commute to work, get around campus, or link up with public transit, up to 6 miles before recharging. But most importantly, you’ll enjoy the ride everyday.
The lightest electric vehicle in history
Light is great for lots of reasons, like better handling and acceleration. But it also means unprecedented portability. Carry it into a classroom, through the lobby to your office, upstairs to your apartment, onto a bus, or even aboard an airplane. With a capable electric vehicle that weighs a mere 12 lbs (prototype weight), you’ll change how you think about vehicles.
The team claims the Booster Board is as maneuverable as a ‘normal’ skateboard.
A revolution in drivetrain technology
We have backgrounds in mechanical, electrical, and aerospace engineering from Stanford. We also love longboarding, snowboarding, kiteboarding, and wakeboarding. So it’s no surprise that we joined our revolutionary prototype drivetrain with our favorite longboard components. But the bigger picture is even more exciting: changing the world of transportation and shifting the perception of what a vehicle can be. Here’s an example. Charge the board every day (6 miles of use). Total electricity cost? Less than $5 per year.
What’s special about our technology?
It’s similar to what you’ll find in modern electric cars and motorcycles, but smaller and lighter than anything ever made. It’s so new, it’s even patent-pending.
• Twin brushless motors. They’re more expensive and harder to implement than conventional DC motors, but they’re also amazingly powerful for their size and weight.
• Lithium batteries. We only use lithium, and we only use the best. That means plenty of range and power without the weight and bulk of normal batteries.
• Custom electronics. Our years of engineering experience led us to design and build our proprietary on-board computers, motor controllers, and software from scratch. The result is powerful and responsive, yet quiet, compact, and easy to control.
• Fast charging. Our electronics and batteries can handle extremely fast charging, going from empty to full in less than two hours.
The big problem with transportation
Everyone knows that short distances (between 0.5 and 3 miles) are annoying. It’s just far enough that walking takes a lot of time, but other options aren’t ideal, because of:
• Time – the kind you waste in traffic and parking in a car, or finding a rack and locking your bike
• Space – where you fill up garages or parking lots, or room in a crowded hallway or stairwell
• Money – the cost of gas plus wear and tear on your car, or the potential for theft of your bike• Convenience – maybe you don’t like to bike in 100 degree heat, or show up to work after a 30 minute uphill walk
• Energy and infrastructure – you want to stop paying for fuel, contributing to congestion, and demanding more roads and gas stations
• Public transit – it’s too far from where you live and work, or you have to make multiple transfers to get to your destination
How it works
You start with a handheld remote with throttle and braking control and a battery gauge readout. To charge it, simply plug in the included charger just like a laptop, phone, or any other device. If you run out of charge, or you just feel like pushing, go for it – it still rolls like a normal longboard (but with a little bit of drag). That’s it… it’s that simple.
We’ve been testing our prototypes with early users, and here’s what they had to say:
It’s way more fun than I expected it to be. It reminds me of riding a motorcycle for the first time. The feeling of being propelled forward and feeling the open air on you is really incredible. It’s different than… skateboarding or bicycling because you have this magic device that propels you, and it feels like flying. -A.I.
I just spent a few hours riding around my neighborhood and now that I have the hang of it, it is AWESOME. What an incredibly exhilarating experience. – G.T. (first-time boarder)
I’ve been riding it to work every day and then some. Riding it has been a blast & it get’s soooo much attention. Thanks so much! -R.M.
The board is awesome, I’ve been riding it every chance I get! -J.M.
Where we’re going
John started with the initial design over a year ago. Since then, we’ve iterated and built 10 prototypes, tested and refined the hardware and software, and asked for feedback from early customers. All the boards in the video and the photos are real, functional boards with the specs above. We’ve already developed the technology, and it’s already amazing.
We need Kickstarter’s help to go from prototypes to production. The renderings of the board and hand controller are examples from our industrial design team of where we’d like to take the design. To build this, we need to set up manufacturing for a minimum quantity of boards.
Setting up the production system involves the following:
•Tune and tweak the electronics and software
•Conduct safety testing and certifications on prototype units
•Conduct design for manufacturability analysis of the final product
•Set up tooling for our manufacturing line
•Build infrastructure for user support and product maintenance
A lot of Kickstarter projects end up getting delayed, so we’re trying something new. You’ll get to witness first-hand how a new product comes to market. Based on guidance from our experienced mentors who have worked at places like Apple and Tesla, we’ve devised a plan to ramp up production slowly and carefully. You can get a beta unit in March, a first run board in May, a second run in June, or a final run in July. The earlier your order, the earlier you get your board. These small earlier batches make it easier to test our manufacturing process, ensure quality control, and keep our promises to you.
International taxes and shipping
While our rewards include delivery to the contiguous 48 states, we will require Alaskan, Hawaiian, and international backers to pay the cost of shipping (minus a $50 credit). International backers will also be responsible for taxes, duties, and customs fees for their orders. We will do our best to assist our backers with this.
It’s important to note that while we’ve built an amazing electric vehicle, it’s also still a longboard. That means you can still fall, still hurt yourself or others, or worse. PLEASE wear safety gear (helmets and pads) while riding and be aware of other vehicles and people. Don’t ride outside your limits, and finally, use common sense.
Laws and regulations regarding electric vehicles, electric longboards, and skateboards vary by country, state, county, and municipality, so please heck the legal status of this product before you ride it.