Stark Drive creates folding e-bike you can take on flights
Sweden's Stark Drive has launched a Kickstarter for a folding e-bike called the Mini, which can throttle up to 15 mph for 9 miles or can go for 25 miles per charge in pedal assist mode. Interestingly, the company says that one of the flavors on offer can save you on taxi or shuttle fees when you travel by air.
Stark Drive says its Mini folding e-bike doesn't need a lot of power, and has developed a "flight ready" battery pack to allow jet-setters to take their two-wheeler with them on their travels. The Mini Air comes with two FTA-compliant batteries that you can take with carry on, though it's a good idea to check airline rules before backing this option. Of course, if you don't need an electric bike when you land, you could just remove the battery and leave it at home. The Mini will work like a traditional bicycle with the battery removed.
If you don't need to fly, a standard Mini should prove a highly portable last mile solution for the commute to work. The folding frame collapses down to 60 x 60 cm (23.6 x 23.6 in) during transit, and opens out to 128 x 102 cm (50 x 40 in) when it's time to hit the road. The 13 kg (28.6 lb) Mini rides on 14-inch wheels and can be had with a low maintenance belt drive or traditional chain setup. It's reported capable of accommodating riders up to 194 cm (6.36 ft) tall and weighing 120 kg (264 lb).
There are four models being offered. The base City package comes with 250 W rear wheel hub motor, USB charging, integrated headlight, a 90 dB horn and an LCD display which shows speed, charge remaining, distance traveled and assist mode. That motor will power the e-bike up to 25 km/h (15 mph) for a throttle only range of 14 km (9 miles) or up to 40 km (25 miles) with pedal assist. Juicing up the locking removable battery unit from empty takes about 3 - 4 hours.
A motor bump to 350 W is available as an option, as is an integrated rear bike light, and GPS tracking can be added for extra peace of mind.
Stark Drive is funding production of the Mini on Kickstarter. Pledges start at just US$299 for the City model, while the "flight ready" Air version comes in at $599. If all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in December, 2018.
If that sounds a little too good to be true, Stark Drive hears you. Similar disbelief surrounded the company's first e-bike, also crowdfunded in April 2017, but deliveries to backers began later that year and concluded in July 2018. Swedish backers who want to test drive a Stark Drive e-bike can arrange a time at the company's Wargentingsgatan 5 showroom in Stockholm.
Update December 17, 2018: Stark Drive's Kickstarter was cancelled and the company has now launched on Indiegogo, pledge levels remain the same but shipping is now estimated to start in January 2019. The campaign video below has been updated.
Sources: Stark Drive