Our content is community driven, so please feel free to support our project and write some reviews or help us to fill in the missing devices out there! Our goal is to create the most comprehesive non-commercial catalog for electric self-balancing wheels for everyone!
Both, the German and international communities surpassed the hundred member mark this year. The communities are private groups so it’s indeed something to get excited about and both communities are still growing. Our member selection process successfully managed to prevent spam and to protect members while sharing their experiences in regions were eWheels are not welcome yet.
We always kept you up to date regarding the road-going process (street legal) in Germany, and informed you about what others (ADAC) are stating regarding the street legal situation.
We got an interesting review of an off-road trip from our members in Berlin.
The eWheels catalog is constantly increasing, helping our visitors to get a better overview of the variety of products. The catalog will be enhanced with new functions in 2016.
In summer we finally got the long awaited letter from the German government. Now we are officially a registered and non-profit association.
In May the eWheels association successfully supported the Wave Trophy in Berlin and made an important contribution towards the Guiness world record for the largest parade with electric vehicles.
This year Gotway introduced the 8 mm thinner shell and a new mainboard generation for the MSuper. The new 14" MCM4 was unveiled on the Hongkong fair in October. Unfortunately Gotway still cannot provide a trusted app in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. The app is still only available on the official manufacturer website. (That’s supposed to be fixed in the first half of 2016).
IPS demonstrated the Lhotz with an 800 watts motor but still single battery pack. They also introduced the small Zero series. The old generation of eWheels got an update with a Plus version.
Kingsong/Jincong entered the international market in 2015 with 14" and 18" models as direct competitor to Gotway. But with lights and audio they have some additional selling points in camparison to Gotway. With the latest mainboard revision Kingsong managed to provide a compatible iOS app in the App Store.
Ninebot presented the E+ series with bigger battery capacity. Later this year the model P with an 800 watts motor and still a single battery was introduced. Ninebot also ran into some difficulties with firmware problems this year which could destroy the mainboard or cause a power cut-off.
In the last half of the year we were faced with burning balance boards, which caught fire when they were charged or also when they were just used. Looks like cheap Chinese batteries were used instead of battery cells from LG, Samsung and Sony. Since balance boards are also self-balanced vehicles, this influenced our public image in a bad manner too.
Batteries come into focus more and more since the burst-power demand from the latest motor generations require the best battery cells available.
With their 14", 18" and power boost revisions Kingsong successfully demonstrated, that a newcomer can get attractive to customers very fast by implementing new generations of existing technology. Being innovative and fast responsive in R&D shows how an international unknown brand can easily jump in the game.
Uniwheel - Claiming to be developed in the UK, Project42 showed that it’s possible to develop eWheels in Europe. The current model is very lightweight and has a removable low capacity battery pack. This eWheel can be seen as a perfect commuting eWheel. The social media introduction was good planned and the model was introduced on a press event. Let's see what's coming next.
Stronger motors - Recently Kinsong demonstrated their 18" model KS18A with an optional 1100 W nominal power and burst power up to 3500 W, taking the lead surpassing Gotway.
Big battery packs - Big battery packs beyond 680 Wh will become more and more a valuable option and will be a need for new motors.
Open Source Firmware Project - This project will establish opportunities to implement new and necessary technologies, which the Chinese companies are not willing to implement.
A reliable firmware version is estimated for Q1 2016 when the current improvements are successful.
Safety reliability - The safe and reliable eWheel is based on three components:
After going through 3 options of how to implement a safe and reliable motor we had the final solution a couple of days before Christmas. We went through all the options before. The available Scooter technology (dual radial stator motor) is not an option since the motors are to big, heavy and expensive. Downsizing is possible but this only solves one of multiple problems. In the next step we went through the option with another technology (2 axial stators) and that made a combination of both technologies (axial and radial stator). This is a possible solution but needs more skills in production and makes the motor also more heavy and expensive. We found a solution in the end based on the radial stator concept (also documented in master theses since years) to keep weight in an acceptable range, without enlarging to be placed in existing eWheels. This will be further evaluated for practical use on a test eWheel in 2016.
The last year brought us many exciting experiences with new models on the market, but the real breakthrough will come in 2016 / 2017 when some of the leading manufacturers will manage to fulfill the strong regulations of the European market. The transition from experimental eWheels to a reliable transportation vehicle category is the biggest challenge for the next year and we will most likely see changes on multiple layers. The governments finally understood that they need to update their regulations to fit the electric transformation of personal transportation and to reach their targets in terms of electric mobility within the next years. Now it’s up to the manufacturers and end users to demonstrate the values of eWheels in some real world scenarios were they will bring additional values to our daily life. The past year was amazing and we are looking forward to seeing our most favorite devices changing the mobility of tomorrow!
The eWheels.org Association e.V. says thank you to all community contributors and drivers out there!
We wish you a pleasant driving into the new year!