Published August 28, 2012
By Jeff Cobb
Gnarboard versus C5 Corvette to 75 feet distance. Zero to 28 mph in 1.9 seconds.
Not quite ready to pay for a $32,000-plus EV, but still want to get around on four wheels with all-electric power?
This soon-to-be available board is definitely not for everyone – and if you’re an accomplished board rider that would help – but the $2,900-$4,000 four-wheel-drive electric Gnarboards look like they mean business as you’ll see in the 75-foot race with the Corvette.
The top line Trail Rider shown offers 3.4 kw of power, 16.5 kw peak power from a 37-volt, 20-amp-hour LiPo battery. It uses a 300-amp motor controller and even employs range-extending regenerative braking as it rides along on 9-inch tires intended even for off-road use.
Top speed is 28 mph, range is estimated at 13-15 miles and damping “trucks” – a skateboard’s rudimentary suspension – help keep the alloy chassis, 86-pound board in control, even on bumpy terrain. Total length is nearly four feet (47 inches), and it’s 16.6-inches wide.
Whether this mode of transportation would raise a law-enforcement red flag in a local municipality is another question a prospective buyer would want to check first.
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Crash and weather protection is zero – just like you get with a bicycle or regular skateboard – but this thing could be more hip than a Seqway in certain crowds. It undoubtedly also takes more skill to operate, so body armor, a helmet, and up-to-date health insurance policy would be advisable.
Seriously speaking, we're not recommending this for commuting – unless you actually think it could work for you. Instead, we thought you might at least like to see one more creative use batteries and motors can be put to, and how competitive they already can be with mature mainstream technology.