The addition of electric power to the humble skateboard appears to given it a new lease of life. Electric skateboards are seen as a legitimate means of getting from A to B and are being designed specifically for that purpose. The Bolt is one such board and is claimed to be the smallest and lightest.
The Bolt was conceived by Italian Lorenzo Cella, whose commute to university included an hour-and-a-half of walking every day. Cella decided he wanted to get around more quickly and with less effort, but using something that was also very portable.
Working with his father Giuseppe, Cella has prototyped and tested the board over the course of a year. The final design is 23.5 in (60 cm) long, 10 in (25 cm) wide and weighs just 8.8 lb (4 kg). Its size is kept to a minimum by having the battery and electronics integrated into the wooden body of the board (at present only the developer is able to swap out the battery, the ability for the rider to do so has been added as a stretch goal for the crowdfunding campaign).
The Bolt is controlled by a hand-held remote control with a joystick that allows riders to accelerate and brake. It is powered by a 2,000 W motor that delivers a top speed of 13 mph (21 km/h) and the 5,000 mAh LiPo battery, which reportedly takes an hour to charge, delivers a range of 6.5 miles (10 km). Cella says that a year's worth of recharging will cost as little as US$5.
In addition, the Bolt has front and rear lights for use when it is dark and a USB port that allows users to recharge mobile devices. Cella has revealed that he has plans for an accompanying mobile app using the board's built-in Bluetooth LE connectivity and for integration with wearable devices.
A crowdfunding campaign is underway on Indiegogo for the production of the Bolt. At the time of writing, it's possible to pledge from US$549 for the electric skateboard. Assuming all goes to plan with the campaign and production, deliveries are expected to begin from October.
The video below is the Indiegogo pitch for the Bolt electric skateboard.
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