Electric skateboards have exploded in popularity in recent years as a fun, convenient mode of urban transportation. But how much power do these motorized boards actually use up? Understanding the energy consumption intricacies of electric skateboards can help riders estimate costs, plan charging needs, and support more eco-friendly choices. This guide examines electricity usage by charging and riding electric skateboards.
Understanding Electric Skateboard Functionality
Electric skateboards run on a rechargeable lithium battery that powers either a hub motor inside the wheels or a belt-driven motor under the deck. Sensors and accelerometers detect rider movement and transmit to the motor to propel the board forward.
Batteries typically range from 7 to 12 amp-hours with voltages from 25 to 60V. Higher voltage batteries can deliver more power and speed. But lower voltage boards may be safer for younger riders.
The power output of motors ranges from 100 to 2000 watts. Boards designed for off-road have higher wattage for climbing hills and uneven terrain. Heavier riders or moving up slopes also increases power draw. Faster acceleration and higher top speeds drain more electricity. Energy-saving features like regenerative braking can help offset increased usage.
So electricity consumption varies widely depending on the skateboard model, terrain, riding style, and rider weight. Understanding your usage helps you choose an optimal battery size.
Electricity Usage: Charging the Batteries
Charging the batteries is the most power-hungry process for an electric skateboard. Most boards take 1.5 to 4 hours for a full charge. Quick charge times require higher power chargers.
The charging power rating – how quickly batteries can be rejuvenated – ranges from 50 to 100W. Faster 100W chargers deliver a full charge in 2 hours but use more instantaneous energy. Slower 50W chargers need 4 hours but consume less electricity over time.
To calculate charging consumption, multiply the charger rating by the hours to fully charge. A common 100W, 2-hour charger uses about 0.2 kilowatt-hours (kWh). At an average electricity rate of $0.12/kWh, each full charge costs around $0.024. Charging less often reduces costs further.
Riding Power Consumption
While charging draws significant power in a short time span, the continuous energy usage while riding is lower. Most boards consume 10 to 20 Watt-hours per mile ridden, depending on terrain, speed, and rider weight.
So a 5-mile ride to work and back at 15 Wh/mi would use 0.075 kWh. At $0.12 per kWh, this equates to less than a pennyworth of electricity. With over 200 commute miles per month, electricity costs are only $2.40.
For comparison, an electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf consumes about 30 kWh per 100 miles. So electric skateboards are highly energy-efficient transportation.
Real-World Electric Skateboard Energy Use
To make these numbers more tangible, here are some real-world examples of electric skateboard energy consumption:
A 175 lb rider traveling 7 miles on flat terrain with a 96 Wh battery and 10 Wh/mi efficiency would use around 70 Wh of electricity.
A commuter traveling two hilly miles to work five days a week with a 300 Wh battery and 20 Wh/mi efficiency would expend about 40 Wh of electricity daily.
An off-road trail ride for 10 miles using 300 Wh battery capacity and 30 Wh/mi efficiency could require around 300 Wh of battery usage.
As you can see, normal electric skateboard use consumes relatively minimal electricity compared to other motorized modes.
Based on average U.S. electricity rates, charging an electric skateboard battery from empty costs around $0.25 to $0.75. Suppose you charge after every 10 miles of riding. That equals $0.03 to $0.08 per mile. Electric skateboards are more economical than electric vehicles at $0.04 per mile or gasoline cars at $0.12 per mile.
Of course, costs per charging session depend on your local electricity rates and how depleted the battery is. But electric skateboarding adds just a few dollars to monthly electricity bills in most areas – great news for budget-conscious riders!
Electric skateboards have a well-deserved reputation for energy efficiency, especially compared to other electric vehicles. While charging the batteries requires significant instantaneous power, the actual electricity consumption per mile ridden is very minimal – generally just tenths of a kilowatt-hour. For frequent riders, expect to add only a few dollars monthly for charging costs.
As battery technology continues improving, electric skateboards are only getting more power-savvy. Advances like fast-charging capabilities, smaller batteries, and regenerative braking will further boost efficiency and minimize environmental impact. Electric skateboarding is already an eco-friendly transportation choice and will only get greener.
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