Electric cars, electric buses, electric trucks, electric trains, and electric planes! Electrification of most forms of transportation is happening in a big way across the world.
Despite the raging debate, the electric mode of transportation clearly offers a range of advantages over the other modes of transportation.
Electric vehicles are eco-friendly, their engines are much more energy efficient, they are silent, maintaining them is quite easy and they are getting cheaper by the day. When every mode of transportation is getting electrified, how can skateboards be left behind?
Electric skateboards or ‘e-skateboards’ are similar to regular skateboards but they are fitted with an electric motor and a battery that helps them propel themselves on the road. They can run at different speeds and their ranges can also vary based on their battery power.
These e-skateboards are becoming quite trendy among hipsters and young college students. There are some added advantages of using electric skateboards that make them much more trendy for youngsters than other bikes and cars.
Úphill riding task
One of the major downfalls of regular skateboards in relation to other modes of transportation is the struggle of going uphill—especially if the road is steep enough. Thankfully, the addition of an electric motor and a battery in electric skateboards helps solve the problem of going uphill.
Most people riding a normal skateboard would not bother about kicking their way up a steep hill; they’d rather walk. E-skateboard riders, on the other hand, relish these moments because they know their trusty e-skateboard can tackle these types of obstacles with ease.
Compared to any mode of transportation, an electric skateboard needs minimal maintenance since there are very few moving parts. However, if your skateboard is your primary mode of transportation, then you should carefully check if it is sturdy enough for rough use and if its spareparts are easily available. For example, belt-driven e-skateboards need to have skidguards that may have to be replaced once a while. Similarly, most regular skateboards come with polyurethane wheels, which are durable but they don’t absorb any shock. The latest electric skateboards are fitted with street skateboard wheels along with inflated rubber tires that smoothly roll over any small obstacles on the road.
While they might not be the most practical form of urban transport, they do get the job done in a super stylish manner. These vehicles are especially useful on a college campus, where students can transport themselves to their classrooms and keep their e-skateboards safely in a locker or by their side. This is definitely not something you can do with a conventional bike or an electric bike. Even folding e-bikes are quite cumbersome to carry around than an electric skateboard.
Need for speed
Electric skateboards can really zip along fast enough to match up with electric bikes. Some of them are known to carry a person as fast as 50 kilometers an hour, which is actually dangerous for a plain board with no safety gear whatsoever! So please choose a lower speed variant if you are not a pro skateboarder.
Normally, you can only push yourself up to 5 kilometers on a regular skateboard, but an electric skateboard can take you much further distance. E-skateboards available in the market come with a wide range of 20km to 64km per charge. This is surely beyond the range of distances traveled by a typical college-going teenager!
However, these advertised ranges are claims by the manufacturers so there is no guarantee these e-boards can really go that far. The range of electric skateboards is determined by a lot of factors. The most important factor is the battery size of e-boards, which varies from around 100 to 2000Wh. Other factors that impact the range are: driver’s weight, average speed, uphills and downhills, wheel size, wind, and outside temperature.
Types of electric skateboards
You would have seen a typical skateboard with a flat wooden board on top and four wheels at the bottom. Today, you can witness a diverse range of electric skateboards with fascinating features:
- Flexible decks vs. Stiff decks – Flexible deck is one such option where the board can withstand any shocks due to uneven roads and offer a smooth ride.
- Self-balancing hoverboards – These come with many more features such as headlights, battery level indicators, rubber wheels and smartphone connectivity.
- Remote control – Another feature is that you can push to start your electric skateboard or start it with a remote control. The push-to-start skateboard will act and feel like a regular skateboard where the rider just stands on it and pushes to kickstart the electric motor. The remote control one can help even a rookie skateboarder to start from a standstill!