Electric skateboards are fun and definitely have a role to play in helping more adventurous travellers make better use of public transit systems as a bridge over the “last mile” to and from transit stations … but they are not for everyone.
Electric skateboards have a learning curve that many commuters are not interested in tackling. At around 9 kilograms | 20 pounds, they are also more difficult for some commuters when entering and exiting transit vehicles. As I’m getting older, I find myself leaning more towards the stability of an eBike, but I still yearn for a more portable solution that can put an extra smile on my face while moving around town.
Enter the Scooterboard.
The Scooterboard was designed to fill the gap between powered skateboards and 2 wheel scooters, and I’m not saying that only because it sports 3 wheels. The team at InMotion Technology, led by Rose Wang, started toying with the idea of a powered scooter back in 2014, enthralled by the prospect of an electric scooter that could be both fun to ride like an electric skateboard but with a shorter learning curve than powered skateboards. After several concepts that didn’t quite fit the bill, the team solved the steering problem that plagues most scooters and moved forward with development.
The Scooterboard has carved out a niche all to itself with a product that is easy to learn and intuitive to ride. Shortening the learning curve makes it easier for riders to just pick it up and go without having to worry about not knowing everything about how to use Scooterboard. Adding a handle helps out here, with users not having to install a new app on their smartphone just to ride or even to learn a new controller. Scooterboard features an intuitive throttle and brake with two simple ride modes available — Power and Casual.
When the ride is over, Scooterboard can be folded up and wheeled around like a piece of carry-on luggage. This unique feature lets riders cruise around on a serious piece of technology without having to carry it around when they’re done. The folding handle also means that it can more easily be stowed on a train, in a locker, or under the desk at work when it’s not being used or simply being charged.
From a pricing standpoint, the Scooterboard raises the bar by lowering the price. Most high-end powered skateboards start at $1000 USD, with perhaps even the majority coming in around $1500 or more. Scooterboard cuts the base price in half with a starting price of just $699 ($649 currently due to a $50-off promo). That has me excited to try this mobility option out. $700 is still a hefty chunk of cash, but is much more accessible for many would-be riders.
On the technical side, Scooterboard’s rear wheel is powered by a 250 watt hub motor that gets riders up to a max speed of 15.5 miles per hour. The innovative lean-to-steer design makes the steering feel much more like riding a skateboard but with the added security and stability offered by a scooter. It doesn’t skimp on range either with an impressive 7.5 mile range that bests many electric skateboards out there.
- Motor Power: 250W
- Top Speed: 15.5 mph
- Max Load: 265 lbs
- Weight: 22 lbs
- Battery: Lithium 4.3 Ah
- Range: 7.5 miles per charge (can vary based on conditions)
- Charge Time: 2.5 hours
- Climbing Ability: ~8 degrees (depending on payload)
- Folding Handle: Quickly locks into place with a single motion
- Throttle / Brake: Hard-wired into handle — no wireless controller
- Regeneration: During braking and kick off
- Motor Resistance: Very little to none when powered off
Having ridden and tested numerous powered skateboards over the years, I am excited to run a Scooterboard loaner through the paces in the next few weeks to see if it truly lives up to the promise of an affordable, portable electric vehicle that also happens to be a lot of fun.
The team at InMotion Technology has been developing electric vehicles for more than 10 years, with more than 3 years of development put into Scooterboard to ensure that it delivered on the ideal they had initially envisioned. It is available for ordering now for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2017. For more about the Scooterboard by InMotion Technology, head over to the Scooterboard website.