(Left) Boosted Boards Drivetrain (Right) Wireless controlls for the board (via Boosted Boards & Kickstarter)
It's late at night, it's been a long day. After stepping off the train/el/subway, the rest of the way home seems so far. This distance may be the best part of the day now...
Graduate students from Stanford have created the lightest electric vehicle in the form of a motorized longboard. The project’s Kickstarter has already been hugely successful, but the team hopes this is just the beginning of a game changing idea.
After ten prototypes, the students came up with a very compact drive train that connects two twin motors to the rear wheels of a decked out board. Each of the simple timing belt mechanisms are driven by its own energy dense 2000 W (2.6 hp) brushless electric motor. Brushless motors improve efficiency and performance and their lower friction helps lower noise and promotes longevity compared to conventional DC motors. They also aid in stopping and the team wrote regenerative braking code to use them in recharging the battery during your trip. Modifications are still being made to fix problems like jerky acceleration from zero velocity.
The electronics are all custom made by the Stanford group. The device is powered by a small and lightweight rechargeable lithium ion battery that will last around 6 miles and recharge in 2 hours. A wireless controller accelerates the board positively or negatively and indicates battery life. The board can do 20 mph at a max incline of 15%.
The group says they do not believe one must compromise high quality parts on a longboard just because of the addition of high quality motors. They are constructing the boards using Loaded Vanguard longboards, Bear Grizzly 852 trucks, Otang 80A In Heat wheels and Jehu bearings. The well equipped deck plus the motor system weighs a total of 12 lbs, far less than any previous commercial electric board.
The Boosted Board team boasts from a diverse set of skill ranges and even includes a previous head engineer from Tesla. Boosted Boards is one of the Y Combinator Summer 2012 companies, and they are also part of Stanford’s Accelerator StartX program. A Boosted Board will set you back $1200, but it is sure to send you on a wild ride. Boosted Boards has already sent the designing group of students on the journey of a lifetime.