Urban Transport

Whatever it is, electric JackRabbit is made to move you

Whatever it is, electric JackR...
The JackRabbit with its handlebars turned sideways for storage
The JackRabbit with its handlebars turned sideways for storage
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The JackRabbit with its handlebars turned sideways for storage
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The JackRabbit with its handlebars turned sideways for storage
The JackRabbit features a removable control switch
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The JackRabbit features a removable control switch
The JackRabbit's charging port is protected by a silicone cap
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The JackRabbit's charging port is protected by a silicone cap
The JackRabbit weighs less than 20 lb (9 kg)
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The JackRabbit weighs less than 20 lb (9 kg)
Devices can be juiced up via the JackRabbit's USB charging port
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Devices can be juiced up via the JackRabbit's USB charging port

Tom Piszkin used to coach triathletes at the University of California San Diego, plus he sold bikes to students at a local store. The latter, he tells us, showed him "the mobility challenges faced by students on campus." This prompted him to invent the JackRabbit electric "scooter," which is now the subject of a Kickstarter campaign.

First of all, Piszkin claims that the vehicle is "not a bike, not a scooter," but we don't know what else to call it.

Featuring a powder-coated monocoque aluminum frame, the whole thing weighs less than 20 lb (9 kg), accommodates riders up to 240 lb (109 kg) and is just 4 feet long (1.2 m), letting it remain nimble on pedestrian walkways. Additionally, its handlebars can be turned sideways and its footrests can be folded up, allowing it to be stored in tight spaces.

The JackRabbit weighs less than 20 lb (9 kg)
The JackRabbit weighs less than 20 lb (9 kg)

Its 36-volt rear hub motor takes it to a top speed of 18 mph (29 km/h), and is powered by a 36V/4.8Ah integrated battery pack – a 2-hour charge is reportedly good for a range of about 13 miles (21 km), with a display of four LEDs showing the current charge level.

Using a handlebar-mounted speed switch, riders are able to choose between Climb, Coast and Cruise modes. That switch can be removed when the scooter is left unattended, making the vehicle unusable to thieves.

Other features include a no-flat nitrogen foam-filled front tire (the rear tire has an anti-puncture liner), a USB port for charging devices from its battery, and a single rear V-brake.

If you're interested in getting a JackRabbit, pledges start at US$449, with delivery estimated for December assuming it reaches production. The planned retail price is $899.

The scooter – or whatever you want to call it – can be seen in action, in the video below.

Sources: JackRabbit Mobility, Kickstarter

JackRabbit Mobility

9 comments
Leonard Foster Jr
WOW! Very cool but it needs folding pedals to make it legal this will keep it as a bicycle, the laws don't state the pedals have to turn a chain ;-)
Heard it here
Why not have two small wheels? If the front is small, there's no real advantage of having a large rear wheel.
Donkey of Rodent
Leonard Foster Jr, a pedal is a lever operated by foot typically to power or control a mechanism. If it cannot be depressed to initiate some desireable function in the mechanism (bike) then it is probably not so much a pedal as it is a foot rest or foot peg.
Chief Innovation Officer
Hey Leonard, thanks for taking a look. This project has been three years in-the-works. From the beginning the technical definition of a "bike" really perplexed us. A balance "bike" has no pedals, chain or crank. Scooters have structures for supporting a rider's feet, but they aren't called pedals. All of the scooters we studied have small wheels. In designing JackRabbit we didn't see it fitting neatly into either category. Consequently, we affectionately refer to JackRabbit as an "e-critter."
Chief Innovation Officer
In response to "Heard it here", the large rear wheel delivers three benefits: 1) more tire air volume provides more shock absorbing comfort, 2) large, wide tires provide a more traction and a smoother ride over all surfaces, and 3) the larger rotational mass provides more stability--gyroscopically speaking--especially at speed.
Jugen
I would like to see it put into the boot of a car rather than in the back seat of a cabriolet. Different size wheels means you have to have two different size spare inner tubes. There's too much centre of mass over the front wheel, the girl riding it in the promo video didn't look like she could weave easily if required. Off road? Only if you can stand on the pegs, otherwise you'll get hemorrhoids riding that off road. Small seat to save space, so why not just stand for such a short trip?
MarylandUSA
Heard it here, the rear wheel bears most of the rider's weight. In the 1980s, I owned a Bickerton folding bike. The front wheel was 14 inches, the rear 16. My 24-inch push mower weighs 135 pounds. Its front wheels are just 7 inches. But its rear wheels, which carry the engine, are 20.
Uncle Robot
Everytime I see another invention modeled somehow on bicycles to fill a niche supposedly bicycles don't don't fill I am struck by how perfect the bicycle is. This in one more such kickstarter I won't join.
Paul Anthony
$899! And it's not even a bike?