Here at CleanTechnica, we are all about getting more people onto zero emission transportation of all shapes and sizes. We first met the team at JackRabbit Mobility at CES 2019 where I was one of the first people to ride on their version 1.0 prototype. After an initial production run and a ton of new innovations, founder Tom Piszkin and team are back with version 2.0 of the newly rebranded JackRabbit.
They brought a prototype of version 2.0 to my house for me to test out and I was impressed at how the two-wheeled electric strider, at just over 20 pounds, was able to handle my 200+ pound frame. Designer and relentless innovator Tom Piszkin has decades of experience tearing bicycles apart to repair and improve them and has brought a number of improvements to the new JackRabbit. Tom left the prototype of the JackRabbit with me for a few weeks ahead of the official launch on Kickstarter.
An Economical Transportation Solution
At its core, the JackRabbit is a compact two-wheeled electric strider. Riders simply put their feet down and give it a push to get moving, and use the throttle from there. It has a range of 9 to 18 miles per charge, which varies depending on terrain, rider weight, weather, and use of the thumb-actuated paddle throttle. The prototype we tested had a more complex throttle, and the upgrade to a paddle throttle should make the experience much more straight-forward.
The JackRabbit supports riders of up to 240 pounds, so at 210 pounds, I put the little guy to the test. It’s clearly optimized for smaller riders, but I was more than comfortable riding and striding around town on it while on a family bike ride. Getting the JackRabbit in and out of the car is a breeze, thanks to its 23-pound weight. The quick release handlebars flip to the side to make it easier to store and transport.
Hopping on the JackRabbit, a quick push off gets the strider moving and enables the throttle. The JackRabbit has to be moving for the throttle to activate, but that’s just a matter of pushing off with a foot or two to get things rolling. After the strider is in motion, you can pull your feet up onto a pair of flip down pegs at the bottom of the unit.
Compact & Efficient
The small size of the JackRabbit means fewer materials are needed to assemble it, less power is needed to move it around town, and it can be shipped directly to customers in a compact box. In the campaign, the team mentions that they ship the JackRabbit to customers without any styrofoam, instead opting to use the cushion from the tires and seat as padding for the shipment.
Its small size makes the JackRabbit a good fit for short commutes on college campuses, corporate campuses, and last mile commutes. Its compact size opens up the option for use on boats and RVs. OK, so you probably wouldn’t use it on the boat, but it’s a great option for owners looking for something they can get around with after parking or docking.
Mr. Piszkin is a ceaseless innovator and has developed a range of accessories for the JackRabbit. Many of his innovations are packed into the JackRabbit itself, like the handlebars that fold flat, the removable battery, and the various iterations of the vehicle itself.
To offer as much flexibility and utility to owners, Tom has a range of accessories planned for the JackRabbit. A removable battery with a case that lets owners store it under the seat is my personal favorite as its compact size highlights just how efficient the JackRabbit is.
A shoulder carry strap makes it easier for riders to move the JackRabbit around and a rear rack platform that bolts right onto the seat post let owners further customize their ride.
- Dimensions: 48” x 21” x 39”
- Dimensions in folded mode: 46” x 7” x 30”
- Weight: 23 pounds with battery
- Colors: matte black, gloss white, gloss yellow
- Motor: 300 watts continuous; 336 watts maximum
- Brakes: Mechanical rear disc caliper with 160 mm rotor
- Top speed: 20 mph for 170 lb rider on flat, paved road surface
At the Kickstarter Early-Bird price of $499 ($999 MSPR), the JackRabbit is an affordable personal electric mobility solution for many. Its light weight and compact form factor likely make it a practical solution for many living in high rises, college dorms, boats, RVs, and more where a full-sized bicycle simply won’t fit.
As it comes from the factory, it clearly isn’t built for riders much more than 200 pounds, though I found it comfortable enough for a few miles around town. I could imagine a more built out JackRabbit kitted out with a rear rack, some saddle bags, a more plush seat, and an extra battery making a great setup for longer distances, though at that point, I might be looking for a more robust electric bike that would let me do some of the work.
The JackRabbit is yet another example of the endless opportunity for innovators to leverage the ever increasing supply of lithium-ion batteries and electric motors to dream up new mobility solutions for the masses. Head over to the JackRabbit mini ebike Kickstarter campaign site to get the skinny on this lightweight personal electric mobility solution.
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