Electric vehicles are not just about cars. At CES 2015, there are a handful of startups that feature electric-power on a smaller scale, such as in bicycles. One such product launching at the event is the Zboard 2, an electric skateboard that can go up to 20 mph speeds with a 16 to 24 mile range.
Zboard is a business that stemmed from two college students’s goal to simply create an easier way to go around campus. The team actually launched the first version of the Zboard via crowdfunding in 2012, giving birth to what is now a successful business borne out of necessity. The second iteration of the team’s electric skateboard is lighter and more refined, with a few added features like two handles for easy carrying.
The Zboard 2 comes in two variants: the Blue Edition and Pearl Edition, costing $999 and $1,149 each on pre-order via the Indiegogo crowdfunding page. While the Pearl edition is marginally heavier (18 lbs vs. 16 lbs) than the Blue edition, it also comes with a bigger battery and slightly bigger wheels, which account for its increased range of 24 miles vis-a-vis the 18 mile range of the less expensive skateboard.
Still, both skateboards are quite capable for their weight, delivering speeds up to 20 mph through the personal vehicle’s 500 Watt brushless motor. One advantage of this second-generation Zboard is that the use of a brushless motor, which allows for natural coasting. Also, the brushless design also means the rider can push off with the power turned off or when the Zboard runs out of battery power.
Another advantage of the new design is that the Zboard 2 is waterproof, enabling riders to go through damp or wet surfaces, without worry about damaging the electronics. The skateboard’s LED lights at the front and back also offer added safety whilst boarding in the dark.
The company has showcased the Zboard 2 at CES, and an Indiegogo campaign is currently ongoing, with the team raising 235% of its $50,000 goal in just a couple of days. The early bird prices are sold out, however. But backers can still save at least $250 off of the retail prices once the company starts delivering in June.