Personal Transportation

Grandma can burn rubber with the Liberty Electric Scooter

One of the biggest challenges for generally immobile seniors is a short list of choices. For the most part, bicycles can be dangerous and mobility scooters leave them stationary even while going places. Unfortunately, the scooter—the most widely available and accepted option—is heavy, cumbersome, and robs seniors of the opportunity to be active, a problem that leads to so many others.

Electric Bike Technologies has a noble aim: give seniors their sense of freedom back so they can go anywhere and do anything they’d like. To do so, they’ve created the Liberty Electric Tricycle. It combines an electric motor with a sturdy and compact American-made frame for an alternative mobility solution emphasizing activity over stagnation.


SunFocus catches rays to cook good eats

Solar energy is slowly becoming more and more commonplace, and for good reason: the benefits are innumerable to list. Despite solar’s potential, its one sore spot has to do with the generally inefficient methods of harnessing it. Fortunately, plenty of crowdfunding campaigns have sought to fill this void with new attempts at doing so.

The SunFocus is a three-in-one solar electric oven able to switch seamlessly from solar to electric energy and back automatically, with a plug-in option just in case. The portable oven roasts, steams, bakes, and boils up to 12 lbs. of food, using up to three curved focusing lids to reach temperatures as high as 350°F efficiently.

Personal Transportation

Chop-E silent e-chopper is a mean green machine

The gurgling ignition of a chopper is an iconic sound signifying that low-slung relationship of cool with the road so many people dream of experiencing. In this day and age, though, it also signifies an impressively negative reliance on fossil fuels, a problem many find they can’t support no matter how cool roaring the road may be.

The Chop-E is a chopper-style electric bike that retains all the cool necessary for the ride without the smog that comes along with it. This custom creation is composed of quality, off-the-shelf parts that all come together to create something that demands attention. Its developers are now is looking to manufacture their first run. Chop-E boasts a top speed of 20mph and range of 40 miles on a single charge, claiming to get 329 miles overall from a single dollar. Early birds can grab their own for $4,499, while latecomers will have to spend $5,999. The $100,000 campaign is promising Chop-E in August 2015.

This product is another in a recent series of creations that include the Impossible and the LEAOS continuing to revamp of the electric bike’s image. From obtuse and awkward to sleek and powerful, electric bikes are truly coming into their own. City slickers will no doubt be on the lookout.


POD 2.0 electric laundry machine washes unmentionables, saves water

One of the worst things about dorm or apartment living is the common lack of a washing machine. There’s nothing worse than having to scrounge up the right kind of coins in order to wash your delicates under the close scrutiny of other laundry-doers. It’s also a huge waste of time having to wait for clothes to wash due to fear of leaving clothing unattended.

The POD 2.0 is an electric washing machine for anyone without their own laundry facilities. To operate, put one and half gallons of water and one teaspoon of detergent in the POD. The wash cycle can be adjusted between zero and 15 minutes. When it’s finished, drain the water and replace with clean water for a rinse. After that, drain the water and hit “spin” for the spin cycle.

POD 2.0 boasts water savings and energy efficiency. It’s capacity can take either 20 pairs of underwear, three business shirts, six t-shirts or two pairs of jeans. When finished, just hang the clothes to dry on a drying rack.

This product is incredibly convenient for those lacking a washing machine. It’s hard to say that it can really replace a washing machine, however. The capacity is a bit small and better for washing delicates or trying to get the stain out of something immediately. Still, for a single college student, this product definitely saves time and stress, and is reasonably priced too. One will cost backers a $99 donation for estimated delivery in May 2015. POD 2.0 is hoping to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Personal Transportation

Impossible folding e-bike perfects the art of origami transportation

For the most part, electric bikes look like something out of Mad Max. In some cases, you’ll come across something that is a bit sleeker than others, but at the end of the day it’ll still weigh a ton. These characteristics don’t really make e-bikes the best solution for last mile transportation, especially because fitting a bike onto a train during rush hour simply can’t happen.

With their Impossible folding electric bike, Impossible Technology is offering an answer to those who truly want a portable solution to their transportation needs. The bike’s extreme minimalism allows it to fold up into its own 17 inch seat, allowing users to easily transport it in a duffel or book bag and making it the first bike to be so extremely portable. Don’t let its flexibility fool you: the bike can carry up to 180 pounds and since it’s electric, it can be charged anywhere there is an outlet. Its ten 2900mAh batteries can be charged in one and a half hours, and supports a top speed of 12.4mph for 45 minutes. Despite its name, it isn’t so hard to get one of your own. An Impossible bike is going for $530 CAD (~$467 USD) with an estimated delivery date of August 2015. The campaign’s funding goal is $55,000 CAD (~$44,060 USD).

The Impossible is a marvel. Its level of portability is unlike anything really done before, and marks a true shift in what is possible with transportation. This advance comes with a caveat in that there are no pedals to manually move around if the battery were to die, so be ready to tack on some more battery anxiety along with our other devices. Indeed, there are obvious trade-offs to an invention like this, but ultimately they’re necessary. If manufacturing goes as smoothly as Impossible Technology hopes, you’ll no doubt see a lot of these in many big cities.

Personal Transportation

Ion Smartscooter looks like non-electric models, gets you on your way

The last miles of any commute are some of the most painful. Who wants to walk twenty minutes at the very beginning of the day or after having worked eight hours every day? Although there are some solutions, bikes and scooters are either too bulky to transport easily or too dirty in terms of fuel.

Probity Cell LLC has created the ion SmartScooter as a low-cost, clean alternative that will get you where you need to go, fast. It’s top speed of 15mph is powered by a lithium-ion battery that charges in three and a half hours and lasts for more than 1,000 cycles, ensuring a long and sustainable life. In addition, its foldable nature makes it so that it can be more easily transported than a bike, especially because it only weighs 26 pounds. The ion SmartScooter joins scads of other personal transportation devices like the Me-Mover and Halfbike.

The company is starting off slow with just two production runs, but they want to minimize any issues through their Kickstarter campaign. They were aiming for a modest $40,000 to do so, a goal that has shown interest by many. If they’re able to back up their claim of squeezing 500 miles out of the scooter for less than a dollar’s worth of electricity, they’ll be able to convince many more to grab one of their own for the introductory price of $399.



Food and Beverage Personal Transportation

Kreweser is one cooler that’s a wild ride

KreweserCoolers are heavy and can be a pain to lug around. Kreweser doesn’t only make the cooler more portable, it also lugs you around as well. As a combination cooler and electric trike, Kreweser lets you sit on the cooler and zip around at speeds up to 18mph. When the cooler is removed, the trike folds up for better storage. While a really cool, ha!, idea and great for pavement, Kreweser won’t really work on sand or rough terrain, where coolers are typically needed. One will cost backers a staggering $749 donation. Kreweser hopes to raise $90,000 on Kickstarter.

Personal Transportation

Movpak goes from backpack to powered skateboard to conquer your commute

The Premise. Commuting to and from work in a car is bad for the environment. Those who can opt to use public transportation. However, this isn’t always the most convenient way, and some are stuck walking quite a bit to get to where they need to go. For those who are a bit lazier, driving becomes the more attractive option even if public transportation is available.

The Product. Movpak is a combination backpack and electric skateboard. What? Yes. It functions as a normal backpack, but when some help is needed to get somewhere, a foldable skateboard is released. Running on a battery, the skateboard goes up to 15mph with a range of about 9 miles. It’s rechargeable and takes two hours to juice up. With its battery, the backpack can also charge your devices on the go. The power for the board is controlled through a wireless remote. In terms of appearance, the backpack looks like any normal backpack, as does the skateboard.

The Pitch. Movpak’s campaign video shows commuters using the product in different settings. Some hop on after getting off the subway, while others putter around campus. Different riders in the video show how easily the skateboard attachment pops in and out of the backpack. This Kickstarter Staff Pick hopes to raise $100,000 in a 38-day campaign.

The Perks. Early birdies can get the Movpak for either $999 or $1,190. At a regular price of, $1,340 backers get the Movpak along with an extra backpack with choice of color. Movpak’s are expected to be delivered by May 2015.

The Potential. Personal transportation devices have become all the rage, especially electric ones. Many are rethinking the bicycle model for something a bit smaller and more portable. Scooters like the Halfbike and Me-Mover think that stand-up trikes are the solution, while others like Marbel prefer the electric skateboard model. Other products, like the Commute-Case combination scooter and briefcase, have kept the commuter in mind and combined cargo with transportation as the Movpak has done. One of the great things about Movpak is its sleek look and portability. The campaign fails to mention how heavy the Movpak is exactly, but carrying it on one’s back makes a heavier weight easier to tote around. Some may feel unsteady on a skateboard with no handle for balance, however, for college students and young professionals, Movpak is a great way to get around with lots of stuff.

Automotive Travel

Arctrike puts some power into lying down on the road

The Premise. With rising gas prices and a suffering environment, people are looking to new ways of transportation. Many choose bicycles or public transport, but for those who need a little power and privacy behind their ride, electric is the way to go.

The Product. The Arctrike is a recumbent three-wheel vehicle. The rider sits back and relaxes while he cruises down the road. It’s electric for extra power with pedals as well. A handle makes steering a breeze and front suspension ensures a smooth ride. Behind the back of the rider, the motor stays out of the way and is concealed. The trike itself looks sleek and rugged at the same time.

The Pitch. In the campaign video, the creators explain the advantages of a trike over a moped or car. It shows a man cruising around in the trike and his ride really does look quite smooth. The rest of the campaign goes into the trike’s specs along with the prototyping process. Arctrike’s creators really pushed their product to the limit in testing to ensure a great ride for all. This recumbent bike hopes to raise $65,000 CAD on Kickstarter.

The Perks. For $1,800 CAD, backers will receive the frame kit which includes most of the materials to assemble the trike by oneself, leaving out the battery, motor and other items. For $2,950 CAD, backers get the kit again, but including more materials, though still leaving out any kind of power. For $5,000 CAD, backers get the Arctrike and for $5,400 the better quality version of the trike.

The Potential. This recumbent bike seems like a blast to ride. It’s great for those looking for a fun and unique way to get around, at least in the warmer months. The creators claim that it’s safe, but stress that a helmet is needed to ride. One would also think that, being so low to the ground, being run over by a Mack truck might not be out of the realm of possibility. We’ve seen other trikes like this, such as the Horizon, which is designed to be a bit more accessible to people of all levels of ability than Arctrike. Still, Arctrike is a cool, fun, energy-efficient way to zip around town.

Cycling Personal Transportation

Bikes gear up easy e-conversion with Fusion Sports Drive

editors-choiceThe Premise. Even if electric bicycles offer an ecologically friendly alternative to other means of transportation, inherent battery limitations and companies instituting closed systems have driven prices up. This relegates even the most forward thinking e-bike into ultimately being an expensive curiosity.

The Product. Falco seeks to rattle the electric bicycle market with its Fusion Sports Drive. The company has created a gearless electric drive capable of being installed on pretty much any vehicle with pedals, complimented by a fully open system that allows the user to replace the 50 lithium ion battery with any available on the market. The Fusion Sports Drive boasts an impressive array of features over competing products, with standouts including regenerative braking, smart phone integration, and cardio-controlled biometric training. 

The Pitch. Falco’s Kickstarter campaign is detailed, containing a five-minute video showing the drive and its companion app in rugged action. Diagrams illustrating the product’s features and high quality photos round out the rest, giving you a clear idea of everything the Fusion Sport Drive can do. Falco is looking for a hefty $100,000 infusion to ramp up production and stay ahead of competition. 

The Perks. There are many choices for backers considering their very own Fusion Sports Drive. Those interested can fork over $495 for just the 250W drive and control unit, $695 for the entire 250W road legal system, or up to $1,095 for the “limited edition” 350W model. These are all subject to specific country requirements and are slated for delivery in April 2015. 

The Potential. Compared to much of the competition, the Fusion Sports Drive is light-years ahead. Their feature set is very advanced for this type of product, with the cardio-controlled biometric interaction being the runaway star. Falco has created a product which has a very competitive price point, successfully utilizes our smartphones in an intelligent way, and pushes e-bike technology forward by being as open as it is. Still, the conversion price may not court many casual riders. Falco’s main challenge will be expanding the market for those wanting an easy, connected e-bike experience.