Their users are athletes, enthusiasts, crafters, riders, and commuters. Boards range from smooth coasting speeds to over a powerful 30 mph! They are as small as to be converted out of your backpack and as large and as strong durable longboards. The versatility of all these designs comes from their battery: a lithium-ion component that is becoming more powerful and compact with each iteration.
Many worry about these batteries thanks to bad press their predecessor “hoverboards” had. Though the fear and stigma from these and a few incidents a couple of years ago with electric skateboards, today’s companies have increased manufacturing standards to draw a close to the era of exploding batteries.
A hoverboard on fire. (Photo: ABC7 file)
Early boards powered by these small batteries were manufactured overseas, made quickly, and with cheap plastics and batteries. They were easily available and sold off more as toys than engineered pieces of craft. These designs faired poorly as the first step for this industry.
An electric fire that compromises the whole board (from imgur)
With the initial appearance of the hoverboard came a slew of news stories of them catching sparks while in use and catching on fire while charging. Along with looking cheap and plasticky, these things were a hazard. Altogether, many found hoverboards an obnoxious hazard to see around in public settings. Electric skateboards were seen as an improvement from hoverboards, but still can face issues regarding their batteries. One of the last major recalls was issued in 2017.
It’s a rarer occasion when a fire breaks out. Customers document the incidents and the feedback to this community of start-ups improves their engineering with every step. What specifically causes explosions with these batteries are cases of thermal runaway, where a series of positive feedbacks generates more and more heat until a critical exhaust point, usually resulting in an explosion or fire.
Despite that initial bump in the road, electric skateboards sparked (no pun intended) a new trend in personal transportation.
The battery trend will be one that will extend to many more personal vehicles. We are now seeing updates with motorbikes and mopeds. They now join skateboards, scooters, and bikes. As the tech becomes more powerful they will be able to readapt motorcycles and even landscaping equipment like lawnmowers and small tractors.
The battery-powered future of our powerful tools and vehicles.
The trend is boosting many of our traditional forms of transportation. It is a convenience that helps users better serve their goals. The growth is moving to encompass many more of our wheeled tools and technologies. It’s a bright place to be in.
Electric skateboards are still an emerging technology, recovering from the consequences of its early designs. And yet still the batteries may be liable to different hazards. Especially since so many older models exist in the marketplace and in consumers hands. It’s a generally a good idea to keep all boards outdoors.
Aside from all that, electric boards are here to stay. Anyone who’s actually stepped foot on electric skateboards unanimously agrees that it is a superior, preferred and more enjoyable way of getting around from place to place. Moving and curving though roadways have remained such an enjoyable experience. That alone will continue to beat out worries that batteries will blow up.
Thankfully the battery scares that cropped up throughout the early years and still continue to crop up haven’t scared away the user base.
Electric skateboards from Mellow