Electric Skateboards: A New Era of Commuting

Electric skateboards are appearing more and more in the personal transportation market. The popularity of Segways has helped draw attention to the rise of self-balancing scooters and electric modes of individual transportation. Most recently, the treacherous two-wheeled hoverboards that have produced thousands of fail compilations on Youtube have heightened that public awareness to new levels. This newfound interest consumers have in electric-drive rideables has opened the door for a wave of startups to gain support.

Electric Skateboards in San FranciscoKickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns for electric skateboards, electric scooters, and similar motorized vehicles have spawned new and exciting modes of transportation. The most practical of which is the electric skateboard. Due to their more than manageable size and weight, electric skateboards are on their way to becoming the rideable gadget of choice for commuters. IO Hawk and PhunkeeDuck style hoverboards are not as comfortable or as safe as electric skateboards. Although electric skateboards typically have a much higher top speed, they include brakes and have easier handling.

Electric skateboards can safely and easily be taken anywhere. They fit comfortably on a bus or a train, and can effortlessly be carried into buildings due to their relatively light weight. They are steered the same way normal skateboards are. Riders simply shift their weight from side to side. Even riders who were never previously into skateboarding have taken a keen interest in adopting an electric skateboard as their way to get to and from the bus stop, subway station, or all the way to their place of work or study. Super portability, a high top speed, braking abilities, and easy storage make the perfect combination for people who have to commute short distances daily.

With legal restrictions being lifted in California and other states, electric skateboards can be ridden in the streets lawfully in many parts of the country. The California ban was an outdated law dating back to 1977 that prohibited the use of noisy gas-powered skateboards. The electric skateboards available now are far more modern with virtually silent battery powered operation and improved safety controls. Taking effect on January 1st of this year, that law has been abolished. Local governments in the Golden State are now in charge of deciding whether or not to legalize electric skateboards. There has been no initial resistance to the renewed mode of transportation. They can be ridden in bike lanes and roads all across the state, but not on sidewalks.

Electric skateboards LA

Caption: ©Inboard

The electric skateboard business saw an immediate boost in sales with California’s repeal. Previously, customers who discovered that their electric skateboard would be against the law to ride in the street cancelled their preorder. Now that consumers can legally get around using their electric skateboard in major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, the market is blooming and electric skateboard startups are appearing frequently.

Many of these new electric rideables are controlled by a remote and have a companion app that in some cases may be used in place of the dedicated remote lest it run out of battery power. The top companies have regenerative brakes. That is, when riders initiate the brakes on their electric skateboards, the energy of the spinning wheels gets stored as the board slows down, similar to the way hybrid vehicles harness energy from their braking system.

Notable brands include Inboard Technologies, Boosted, ZBoard, Evolve, and the upcoming Eon Board. Inboard’s M1 features a tiny but powerful motor system integrated into the back wheels. Even with a motor that has been greatly scaled down in size, the M1 still manages a respectable 20 MPH. It also features a regenerative braking system and has a companion app with digital remote controls.

As seen with the surge of hoverboards over the past year, it’s common for new rideables to adopt a similar design to existing products. Designed by Unlimited Engineering, the Eon Board has many similar features to the Inboard M1, including regenerative braking, low resistance in-wheel motors that allow the board to be used as a normal skateboard when the motor is not engaged, and a replaceable battery pack. What sets the Eon Board apart from the M1 is that it allows users to transform any existing skateboard into an electric-drive rideable. The motor segment including the trucks and wheels is removable and transferable.

The only downside to electric skateboards is the high price tag. Most models cost at least $1,000 or more. Eventually, the industry will adjust to become more consumer friendly, but that may take several years. Until enough of these startups can get past a small scale production process and branch out into factories, electric skateboards will be a luxury item. Once the price does eventually come down, expect to see people in your office showing up to work with an electric skateboard and helmet in hand.

Top Electric Skateboards Comparison table

There are numerous Electric skateboards available on the market. Here's a quick and easy comparison table to see what the differences are between the main brands. Compare Electric Skateboards from the top manufacturers like Boosted, Evolve, Marble, Inboard, Stary and Mellow.
ProductPriceTop SpeedBoard WeightMax PowerMax RangeCharge TimeControllerAvailable
Boosted Dual+$1,49922 MPH15 lbs2,000 Watts7 Miles1 hourWirelessPre-order
ZBoard 2 Pearl$1,49920 MPH19 lbs1,000 Watts24 Miles4.5 hoursSelf-balancingYes
Inboard M1™$1,49924 MPH14 lbs1,600 Watts10 Miles1.5 hoursWirelessPre-order
Marbel Board$ 1,40025 MPH10 lbs2,000 Watts 16 Miles1,5 hoursWirelessYes
Evolve GT Carbon $1,95926 MPH17 lbs3,000 Watts31 Miles3 hoursWireless/LCD screenPre-order
Metroboard Slim$1,14920 MPH15.4 lbs3,000 Watts40 Miles3 hoursWirelessYes
Yuneec E-GO$69912 MPH13.9 lbs400 Watts18 Miles3 hoursWireless/AppYes
Stary Board$89918.6 MPH11.46 lbs1350 Watts25 Miles2 hoursWirelessPre-order
Magneto$63019 MPH13.2 lbs1200 Watts15.5 Miles3 hoursWirelessYes
Mellow Board$169925 MPH1.6 lbs + board2300 watt10 miles2 hoursWirelessPre-order

About the Author

Nathanael Rubin
Nathanael Rubin, graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media and a minor in Business, is a freelance writer who has made a home on the road traveling around the world and writing articles from hotel rooms and beachside cafes. Originally from Tallahassee, Florida, Nathanael is currently residing in Thailand where he has set aside his passion for playing music to do what he does best, write and travel.

1 Comment on "Electric Skateboards: A New Era of Commuting"

  1. “Compare Electric Skateboards from the top manufacturers like Boosted, Evolve, Marble, Inboard, Stary and Mellow.”

    But you forgot to include Mellow in the table.

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