Urban Transport

Mellow adds an electric drive to any old skateboard

The Mellow electric drive can be mounted to most longboards and propel them at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph)
The Mellow electric drive can be mounted to most longboards and propel them at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph)
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Mellow's battery is swappable, meaning you can charge up a spare and throw it in your bag if you plan on taking your board for a longer ride
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Mellow's battery is swappable, meaning you can charge up a spare and throw it in your bag if you plan on taking your board for a longer ride
Two motors are built into the inside of the 79 mm (3.11 in) wheels
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Two motors are built into the inside of the 79 mm (3.11 in) wheels
The battery will take two hours to charge and should be good for 15 km (10 mi)
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The battery will take two hours to charge and should be good for 15 km (10 mi)
The Mellow electric drive can be mounted to most longboards and propel them at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph)
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The Mellow electric drive can be mounted to most longboards and propel them at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph)
Mellow's battery is swappable, meaning you can charge up a spare and throw it in your bag if you plan on taking your board for a longer ride
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Mellow's battery is swappable, meaning you can charge up a spare and throw it in your bag if you plan on taking your board for a longer ride
The Mellow electric drive can be mounted to most longboards and propel them at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph)
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The Mellow electric drive can be mounted to most longboards and propel them at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph)

Making the leap from a regular skateboard to an electric model isn't as natural as it might appear. The things are heavy, expensive and are usually controlled by some kind of weird trigger controller. On top of that, maybe you'd find it hard to part with your trusty old longboard anyway? German startup Mellow is looking to make the upgrade a little more palatable with an attachable electric drive that can be mounted to any existing board and give it a little more zip.

The majority of electric skateboards available today rely on an electric motor to turn the wheels via a belt drive. Manufacturers are doing their best to hide these bulky motors and the batteries that power them to stop them getting in the way. In the case of makers like Evolve and the long-awaited Marbel board, this has even seen electronics built into the deck.

But the Mellow team has engineered what it considers a pretty innovative way to set its wheels in motion – two motors are built into the 79 mm (3.11 in) wheels. These were developed in Germany under the watchful eye of Mellow co-founder Kilian, formerly an electrical engineer at BMW, and the team claims they are very quiet, highly powerful and tightly sealed to fend off troublesome water and dust.

Truth be told, Mellow isn't alone in pursuing this direct-drive style of electric skateboard motor. A couple of months back we covered the Monolith electric skateboard, which takes a very similar approach, though as an actual skateboard the Monolith offers a more complete package.

Mellow, on the other hand, can be affixed to any board that uses 6-hole trucks, the type you'll find on the vast majority of skateboards. Users looking for a bit of extra go can replace the back set of trucks with the Mellow electric drive to turn their ride into a 2.3 kW high-powered cruiser. Top speed is claimed to be 40 km/h (25 mph), which is up there with the fastest we've seen (the Epic Dominator Pro takes the candy at 42 km/h (26 mph).

The Mellow electric drive can be mounted to most longboards and propel them at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph)
The Mellow electric drive can be mounted to most longboards and propel them at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph)

The battery will take two hours to charge and should be good for 15 km (10 mi), a respectable but not show-stopping range. But where the team may have fallen a little short in range they make up for with a dash of out-of-the-box thinking. Mellow's battery is swappable, meaning you can charge up a spare and throw it in your bag if you plan on taking an extended ride. This is a feature we're yet to come across in other electric skateboards, and though a single charge will be enough mileage for many, it does give Mellow another point of difference in an increasingly crowded market.

The handheld control is simple and bears only one button that is slid forward to accelerate and back to trigger the regenerative braking. Users can also switch between four riding modes at various top speeds and keep track of the battery charge with integrated LED lights.

Mellow is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, with the team looking to raise €100,000 (US$114,000) to enter commercial production, with an early pledge of €850 (US$964) to have one sent your way. If it does attract the funding and the campaign runs as hoped, it plans to start shipping in May 2016. It must be said, this almost puts Mellow in the same price category as some of the more affordable complete electric-skateboards going around, but may be worth it for those attached to their existing rides.

You can check out the team's pitch video below.

Source: Mellow

Mellow – The First Electric Skateboard Drive that fits under any Board – Kickstarter Campaign

2 comments
charizzardd
Huge fan of the quick change battery- not only does it mean people will spend more money but you can pop it out and be at 100% without having to wait! Only thing is starting price- seems all electric items are way to much to be mainstream items. e-bikes at 3-5k USD and this bad boy starting 1000+ USD. Cool idea, lots of fun... pricey
drgnfly004
great idea..... but trying to convince us that having it made in Germany is a good thing is just silly, the cost is way too high, the reason is VAT. they add a TAX at EVERY step of manufacturing there. the tech is not that complex and could be made here in the USA for probably less than half the cost the only part i see that should drive up cost is the Lipo battery in a slick case to fit in it. Sorry but their campaign is doomed because of the cost and VAT, thank god we don't have a VAT here