Should I buy an electric skateboard? How the Marty McFly trend of 2018 could change your commute
by Jeff Parsons Tech/Science Reporter
Board meeting: Is it time for you to buy an electric skateboard?
There’s a special term in the transportation industry called the “last mile”. It means that last point in your journey between getting off the transportation and reaching your final destination. Maybe the car park is just a bit far away from the office or your train station is a few blocks from your house. Either way, you have to conquer that “last mile” somehow.
Most of us will just shrug our backpack onto our shoulders and walk it. Occasionally you may grab a taxi, unfold a bike or even jog. Few, if any, would think to strap batteries to a plank of carbon fibre and cruise to a destination like Marty McFly reborn in 2018.
Electric skateboards are far from mainstream – but they’re growing in popularity thanks to a blend of action-based YouTube videos and wider acceptance of things like hoverboards (remember them) and Segways.
I’m always open to new forms of transportation – not necessarily for that last mile, but as a means of avoiding the crush of people on a train or the monotony of rush hour traffic. A bike has always been my first choice but then I was introduced to the Flex-Eboard from Slick Revolution, a Southampton-based outfit that ships “Eboards” all across the UK.
“These are not going to have the same big Christmas explosion we saw with hoverboards,” Robert Simpson, the Managing Director of Slick Revolution, tells me.
“These are a different creature. It might not have that huge popularity but more and more people are hearing about them. There’s a growing Eskate (Esk8) scene in the UK with one or two meetups monthly.”
What is an electric skateboard?
In this case, it’s a longboard carved out of bamboo (there’s a carbon fibre option as well) with two 1,200W motors underneath hooked up to a lithium-ion battery. It weighs in at a hefty 8.5kg and will transport you at speeds of up to 22mph along a range of 10 miles on a single charge.
Just ten minutes out on the streets with the Flex-Eboard lets you know you’re not dealing with a toy – which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the price. Depending on what configuration you opt for, it costs anywhere between £739 to £999. And then you can expect the repair bill to be significantly higher if you accidentally wreck it or bust a motor.
Other brands do exist (the premium Boosted Board is a popular choice in the USA while Evolve rules the roost in Australia) and you’ll find plenty of Chinese-made Eboards on Ebay and Amazon for varying prices.
But essentially, they can be divided into the size of the board itself and the motor attached to it. In the case of my test unit – it’s a dual motor with a combined READ MORE…
Wondering if you should buy an electric skateboard? Check them out here