June 4, 2006 Personal electric transportation options are growing rapidly, and we expect this evolution to continue to accelerate as the early adopters evangelise the options, battery technology moves to the next, much-awaited level of power density and increased volumes drive pricing down. In the electric scooter area, one of the most acclaimed manufacturers is Motorboard. The company’s latest 2000X model has regenerative braking, a clever front suspension, folds up for ease of carrying, retails for US$449, weighs under 20 lbs, and goes up to 15 mph. Upgrades to the 2000X are imminent, including a larger NiMH battery, a space-age nanotechnology Lithium battery, and a carbon fiber version that will tip the scales at half the current weight. There’s also an official blog where those amongst us (guilty, yer honour) who figure you can always hack or tweak a better gizmo can learn and share their modification experiences.
Motorboard’s John Lynch explained the background of the company. “David Roth, my business partner, is the designer of the product. He was trained at Cal Arts, one of the top design schools in the US, and over the years has designed over 50 products from start to finish for Fortune 500 companies.”
“David came up with the idea of the Motorboard a few years ago, and decided to tackle it on his own. We came out with the 2000X Motorboard at the beginning of 2006 and were issued a design patent in May. We have put a tremendous amount of engineering into every aspect of the product, and the build quality is on the same level as a German luxury sports car. There are many toy scooters on the market, and there are many that weigh over 50 pounds and cost more than $800. Ours sells for US$449, weighs under 20 lbs and it’s not a toy – it’s real transportation for urban commuters.” “The type of people that buy our scooter run the gamut -- commuters, private pilots and boaters, movie studio backlot folks, college students, surfers and skateboarders, people on large corporate campuses, tradeshow and concert organizers, and of course kids love them too.” “With high oil prices here to stay, it is a very exciting time for electric vehicles in general, and we have some pretty incredible designs on the drawing board that leverage all our experience with the Motorboard into something bigger.” Until now, Motorboard has sold its products mainly on the web, with over 50 online stores carrying their products. “We plan to be in (United States) national sporting goods stores by the end of this year,” said Lynch, “and we are now seeking international distribution partners so we can move to the next level of manufacturing efficincies.”
“We recently signed a distributor in the UK, and we are now looking for suitable distribution partners elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world.”
John Lynch can be emailed here.