A US company claims to have developed “the world’s lightest electric vehicle” – a 9.9lb (4.5kg) skateboard powered by a 2kW brushless DC motor. It can propel the board at speeds of up to 20mph (32km/h) for an hour or more. Attempts to raise development funding via Kickstarter had – in May – doubled the company’s target figure of $90,000.
Florida-based Marbel has been working on the skateboard for over two years, and suggests it as an answer to some of the world’s urban transport problems. Control electronics and lithium-polymer batteries are integrated into the board’s carbon-fibre-and-kevlar deck which is just 30mm deep at its thickest point. The design protects them against impacts and bad weather
The Marbel Electric Skateboard can connect with an app running on a smartphone that allows the rider to adjust the board’s top speed and acceleration rates, and to customise it to their riding style.
The throttle and braking can also be controlled by a handheld remote control. To accelerate, the rider simply pushes a slider forward. If they pull the slider back, it applies the regenerative brakes to slow down and stop the board. The 165Wh battery takes 90 minutes to charge. A custom battery management system optimises performance and the motor is powerful enough to propel the board up inclines of up to 15%.