Adding electric motion to your board can result in some under-deck chunkiness or somewhat bulky trucks spoiling the aesthetic. Germany's JayKay says it's managed to cram all of the electronics, electric motors and even the battery into a longboard truck that looks pretty much the same size as a non-electric flavor.
Currently at the working prototype stage, Daniel Jäger, Benedict Kuhlmann and Isabell Armbruster are aiming to take their electric longboard trucks, or e-trucks for short, to Kickstarter in May to help fund production. The e-trucks will come in synchronized pairs and have been designed to be mounted to most off-the-shelf longboard decks, and are reported good for boards with or without cut-outs. The JayKay team plans to make ready to ride and install yourself kit options available.
Either way, JayKay says that riders can expect to zoom along at up to 30 km/h (18.6 mph) for a range of 12 km (7.5 mi). If the integrated four cells per axle batteries do run out of juice, riders can freewheel their way home, stick it on quick charge for an hour, or battery-save charge for 3 hours, and then jump on and zip off again. Regen braking could also help eke out a few more miles of motor-driven board action before needing to recharge via USB-C, though there's also an induction coil in the baseplate for Qi wireless charging.
A device called a clip – developed by FlickTek – will be used to wirelessly control the board when on the move. The clip is attached to a watch strap or wrist band and contains sensors that register finger movements and send gesture control data via Bluetooth to the e-truck. A mobile companion app for iOS and Android will also be offered, allowing smartphone control and system performance information.
The system is said to be set up to detect an accidental dismount, and will slam on the electronic brakes when the rider is more than 2 m (6.6 ft) away from the longboard. The e-truck will also have IP54 level protection against dust/water ingress.
The JayKay team is ironing out a few kinks at the moment and will be heading to Kickstarter in May, where pledges are expected to start at €1,299 (about US$1,380) for two e-trucks and a clip controller. A fully finished longboard with e-trucks already installed rocks for €1,549. If the plan succeeds, shipping could start as early as September.