There’s a lot of buzz about lightweight electric vehicles (LEV) out there. Aside from the VC hype and the trendiness of it all, why is going all in on LEVs the right thing to do now? We were able to sit down with two members of the Boosted engineering team, Levi Price, Industrial Designer, and Oliver Riihiluoma, Mechanical Engineer, to share their thoughts on why technology, and the demand for access to different modes of transportation, have come together to create the perfect storm for LEV adoption.
Keep reading to learn more from our Boosted team.
Why do you think we are seeing a surge in lightweight electric vehicles in the market?
Levi Price, Industrial Designer: “Increased urbanization has created a shift in the way people navigate in an around their environments, forcing people to look for novel transportation solutions that fit their lifestyles. What people want is transportation that’s instantly available and super quick. While rideshare initially offered some relief, putting additional vehicles on city streets during commute hours is actually exacerbating the problem. So we are seeing an increased adoption of lightweight electric vehicles, like skateboards and scooters, because they are incredibly portable, instantly available, and more importantly, because you can by-pass traffic completely. “
What about Boosted’s technology makes us uniquely positioned to be able to serve the last-mile transportation problem?
Levi: “Honestly, what sets Boosted apart it our systems-based approach to developing our vehicles. Our vehicles deliver an incredible amount of power—both to accelerate and to brake— and an exceptional level of control, but it’s not a single component that makes this possible. Rather, it is the combination of industry-leading motor control electronics, high power density batteries, and precise wireless connectivity that gives us the ability to deliver that level of performance and control. We optimize every decision we make against the optimal rider experience, making our boards and scooters powerful, safe, and fun to ride.”
Which areas of technological advancement has Boosted benefited from and how?
Oliver: “One area of technological advancement that Boosted has benefited from has been the continued improvement in energy and power density of lithium ion batteries. These advancements have allowed us to pack twice as much energy into our extended range batteries with only a small increase in size and weight over our standard range pack.”
How has Boosted’s technology (battery, power drive, remote connectivity, weight) evolved over the last 8 years?
Oliver Riihiluoma, Mechanical Engineer: “What has evolved over the past 8 years is how we engineer our boards to deliver enduring value throughout years of rigorous daily use. This evolution has been driven by watching how our products perform in the field and iterating on designs when we see opportunities for improvement. Some examples include: designing both the Super Flex and Deep Dish decks from scratch, developing our own wheels, switching from cast trucks to custom forged trucks to increase strength, and adding additional layers of fiberglass reinforcement to our layups to improve deck longevity. These represent big leaps forward in the industry, and are based on our focus to keep improving the ride.”
What have been the biggest challenges we’ve overcome in producing high-quality, lightweight electric vehicles?
Levi: “Manufacturing our own products has actually been a huge challenge but also a huge opportunity. Almost every single component across our boards and scooter is designed and made by us—otherwise it just won’t be robust (or beautiful) enough for our standards, or those of our community.”
What do you see as the next frontier of technology development and how do you see technology impacting lightweight electric vehicles continuing to evolve over time?
Levi: “I personally think that more new form factors and vehicles will start emerging to better suit people’s needs. Public mindsets about things like transportation tend to be rather slow-moving, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that our current infrastructure is not working as efficiently as we need it to. We’re beginning to see some major changes in how people think about their commutes and everyday transportation. As for the technology itself, the industry is changing so rapidly. Advancements in battery cell technology and the introduction and adoption of IoT and AI technologies will continue to fuel innovation in this space, which is really exciting and opens up all sorts of possibilities for Boosted.”
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