Electric skateboards can be a great way to get around town, but it's a different story when it's time to get off the board. The battery and motor that make things so cruisy when the board is underfoot have the opposite effect when its tucked under your arm. And it's not just the weight, with electric skateboards generally featuring a longboard form factor that can be unwieldy to carry. That's why Adam Riley of Epic Skateboards has developed the Caseboard, an electric skateboard that folds in half for carrying like a briefcase when not getting users from A to B.
Unlike like the Fiik, ZBoard, Boosted Board and Evolve electric skateboards that essentially strap a motor, battery and necessary electrics to a wooden longboard, the Caseboard packs everything under a high grade ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) thermoplastic shell and looks like a cross between an auto-mechanic's creeper and half a plastic guitar case. The board will come with grips and, although Riley says the board will be "almost perfectly sealed" and should be able to deal with the odd puddle or two, he recommends steering clear of water.
According to Riley, the folding board can reach speeds of 21.5 mph (35 km/h). The board’s underside playing host to a 36 V, 7 Ah LiFePO4 battery that provides power to a 500 watt brushless motor that drives the 78a wheels, mounted on longboard trucks. Riley claims a recharge time of three to five hours for the battery, which should provide a range of around 18.5 miles (30 km) depending on terrain. The board also features regenerative braking to feed some power back to the battery when slowing down or going down steep hills.
The board is controlled by a rechargeable wireless (2.4 GHz) hand controller that features a five-bar battery indicator to advise riders of how fast they’re going, when the board needs a recharge and when the regenerative braking is engaged. The indicator also informs riders whether they’re in forward or reverse mode and using fast or slow speed settings. And in case you fall off the board, the designer has built in an automatic braking function that will brake the board if it gets more than 15 - 20 ft (4.5 - 6 m) away from the controller.
Weighing in at 25.4 lb (11.5 kg) the board is no lightweight, and heavier than the competitor electric skateboards mentioned above. However, when folded the center section becomes a handle to aid in lugging the board about the train station or up the stairs. Lengthwise, the Caseboard falls into the "longboard norm" at 41 in (104 cm), but with a width of 13.5 in (34 cm) it definitely isn't a slim ride, which may appeal to novice riders. The board stands 5.5 in (14 cm) tall with a wheelbase of 2.1 in (5.5 cm). In "case" mode, it measures 22.4 x 13.4 x 5.9 in (57 x 34 x 15 cm).
Riley has taken to Kickstarter to raise funds for tooling and manufacture to produce the first run of Caseboards. If all goes well, Riley is aiming to begin deliveries from November of this year. Early birds can claim a board for 999 AUD ($US940), with those outside Australia and the continental US required to shell out an additional 200 AUD (US$190) for delivery. The board is set to retail for 1,199 AUD (US$1,130).
The Kickstarter video pitch can be viewed below.
Source: Epic Skateboards
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