San Francisco-based startup Boosted Boards has produced an eponymous electric skateboard prototype capable of providing a push-free ride for up to 6 miles. While an electric skateboard isn't anything new in itself, this particular longboard is declared by its makers to be the world's lightest electric vehicle.
Boosted Boards markets the longboard as a “last mile” mode of transport; that is, a vehicle intended to complement existing public transportation infrastructure for the final leg of the journey home. The board consists of components which will be familiar to skaters and which sound suitably impressive to the rest of us: Loaded Vanguard, Bear Grizzly 852s, Otang 80A In Heats, and Jehu bearings. Weight is kept down to a transportable 12 – 15 lb (5.5 – 6.8 kg).
Top speed is electronically limited to 20 mph and the board should climb hills up to a 15 percent grade without issue. The rider is given a handheld remote with throttle and braking controls, as well as a battery gauge. Charging is accomplished with a laptop-like charger and the lithium battery pack goes from empty to full in less than two hours.
The longboard's twin brushless motors feature regenerative braking to give the battery a top-up when coming to a stop and, should you run out of juice, or just feel like the exercise, it can still be pushed along like a regular longboard, but with “a bit” more drag (the example given is like a board with a bad set of bearings).
The technical specifications of the Boosted Boards longboard are as follows, though be aware that they may be subject to change as the prototype matures into a final product:
- Motor power: 2000 W
- Top speed: approx 20 mph
- Range: approximately 6 miles
- Maximum grade: 15 percent
- Charge time: 2 hours
- Battery: Lithium
- Weight: between 12 – 15 lb (5.5 – 6.8 kg)
Now, about those boasts of “world’s lightest electric vehicle.” While we’re wary of repeating such a bold claim, we haven't found anything to discredit, with only the Metroboard coming close, at 18 lb (8 kg). So, for now at least, this particular longboard prototype does appear to be the lightest electric vehicle, and we'll be keen to see if this is still the case when production models become available.
Boosted Boards is currently running a Kickstarter to raise funds for production costs and the lowest available price point at time of writing is US$1,199. The project is set to run until October 11 and the company promises a transparent production schedule, with the earliest beta units due to arrive in March.
The video below shows the Boosted Board in action.