Back to the Future: Footomobiles, Electric Skateboards and Sustainable Mobility


Here's an interesting post from XKCD about predictions of the future coming true. The author, Randall Monroe, has recently been spending some time looking through old newspaper predictions for the 21st Century, and it seems the similarities to his own life are uncanny. In particular, the above illustration of 'Footomobiles' seems to have caught Randall's attention, having previously ridden a Segway. Randall goes on to describe the wonders of his current 'footomobile', an electric skateboard from Exkate. Randall claims that if lithium-ion batteries could be made to work with it, it could stretch to an impressive range of 60 miles between charges:

"They're like Segways, but without all that silly safety stuff. I bought two cheap ones off eBay for about $40 each and tried them out. They were fun and worked well for getting around campus, so when I moved to Boston and got rid of my car, I bought a nice one from Exkate for $330 — the Raptor 3.0 model (I swear I didn't pick it because of the name. They're just everywhere!). It has a 10-mile range, travels pretty fast (10-15 mph), and recharges quickly. There are other longboard models with longer ranges and top speeds of 20 mph. Zero to twenty in four seconds. Yes."

Of course any post on electric skateboards may draw criticism from purists who will ask what is wrong with a regular (sustainably built) board, just as some argue that electric bikes are not green when compared to regular bikes. However, we tend to take the view that sustainable mobility is going to need a variety of options available for a variety of needs. Any vehicle that cuts out the huge waste and inefficiency of a car, has the potential to be charged on renewable energy, and offers a sweat-free option for commuting to work has a place in our vision of the future — so hooray for the footomobile! We just hope that the skater kids round our way learn to use these responsibly — being mowed off the sidewalk is no fun, no matter if the board is human or battery powered. ::Exkate::via XKCD::