Urban Transport

Monolith electric skateboard has motors in its wheels

Monolith electric skateboard h...
The Monolith, with its Bluetooth remote hooked over the front
The Monolith, with its Bluetooth remote hooked over the front
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The Monolith, with its Bluetooth remote hooked over the front
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The Monolith, with its Bluetooth remote hooked over the front
Riders can use an accompanying app to set the acceleration and top speed to Beginner, Advanced or Eco modes
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Riders can use an accompanying app to set the acceleration and top speed to Beginner, Advanced or Eco modes
In Advanced mode, the board has a top speed of 24 mph (39 km/h)
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In Advanced mode, the board has a top speed of 24 mph (39 km/h)
The two water-resistant hub motors are claimed to be lighter than a single larger conventional motor and associated hardware
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The two water-resistant hub motors are claimed to be lighter than a single larger conventional motor and associated hardware
Because the wheels aren't attached to a belt drive, they're able to spin more freely when coasting
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Because the wheels aren't attached to a belt drive, they're able to spin more freely when coasting
The board weighs 12 lb (5.4 kg)
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The board weighs 12 lb (5.4 kg)
One 90-minute USB charge should be good for about 10 miles (16 km) of use
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One 90-minute USB charge should be good for about 10 miles (16 km) of use
A diagram of one of the motors
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A diagram of one of the motors
A diagram of the remote
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A diagram of the remote

Although we're now seeing a wide variety of electric skateboards, most of them utilize the same setup – a motor mounted on the underside of the deck, that drives one or two of the wheels via a belt. The designers at California-based Inboard Sports, however, are setting out to change that. Their Monolith is claimed to be the world's first skateboard to feature hub motors in the two rear wheels.

According to Inboard Sports, there are several advantages to going with direct-drive hub motors.

For one thing, there's no motor dangling precariously under the board, where it could be damaged or cause the board to get hung up on obstacles. Additionally, the two water-resistant hub motors are claimed to be lighter than a single larger conventional motor and associated hardware. Finally, because the wheels aren't attached to a belt drive, they're able to spin more freely when coasting.

Riders control the throttle using a Bluetooth handheld remote, plus they can use an accompanying app to set the acceleration and top speed to Beginner, Advanced or Eco modes. In Advanced mode, the board has a top speed of 24 mph (39 km/h).

In Advanced mode, the board has a top speed of 24 mph (39 km/h)
In Advanced mode, the board has a top speed of 24 mph (39 km/h)

The app can also be used to lock the wheels when the 12-lb (5.4-kg) Monolith isn't in use, and to check the charge level of the lithium iron phosphate battery pack. That pack can be accessed through a hatch in the composite-bodied deck, and swapped on the spot with a fully-charged replacement if it runs low while out and about. One 90-minute USB charge should be good for about 10 miles (16 km) of use. Regenerative braking helps it reach that range.

Inboard Sports is now raising production funds for the Monolith, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$1,099 will currently get you one, when and if they reach production. The planned retail price is $1,399.

Sources: Inboard Sports, Kickstarter

3 comments
mhpr262
39km/h is a LOT faster than I ever intend to go on anything that has wheels with the circumference of my forearm, even on good asphalt.
Daishi
I agree mhpr262, I don't think I would go those speeds on something with wheels that small but a 39km/h top speed on a flat surface probably means more for climbing hills at a decent rate.
Milton
Love it.