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2kW motor propels world’s lightest electric skateboard

30 May, 2014

A Florida company claims to have developed “the world’s lightest electric vehicle” – a 9.9lb (4.5kg) skateboard powered by a 2kW brushless DC motor which can propel the board at speeds of up to 20mph (32km/h) for an hour or more. In less than a month, a Kickstarter campaign to back the development has more than doubled its initial funding target of $90,000.

The company, called Marbel, has been working for more than two years on the skateboard which it sees as an answer to some of the world's urban transport problems. All of the 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. They are thus protected 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. There is a choice of operating modes, including one for beginners that limits the top speed to 6mph (10km/h), and an Eco mode that maximises the range based on an analysis of the rider’s behaviour.

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.

Marbel's electric skateboard will be powered by a 2kW brushless DC motor

The 165Wh battery takes 90 minutes to charge. A custom battery management system keeps the cells running at peak performance. The DC motor is powerful enough to propel the board up inclines of up to 15%.

Marbel’s Kickstarter funding goal is based on placing orders with its suppliers to build a minimum of 100 boards, and having moulds produced to manufacture the decks. A pledge of $1,099 will secure one of the first boards and Marbel hopes to enter full production in October 2014.

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