A few weeks ago it looked like things for Boosted Board were about to go up in flames. Their 2nd generation Dual+ boards that boasted increased range and speeds, had some unfortunate battery trouble. It seems that two people in the New York area noticed some unusual smoking and the odorous smell of burnt lithium-ion battery packs!
If you’re not familiar with Boosted Board, you may not be paying attention. Not only do they have the latest tech, but these boards are also some of the sleekest looking on the market.
They are built from all-bamboo decks, high-torque drivetrains and unmatched customer service. Their custom-made 80mm wheels are able to withstand all types of terrain and their trucks (the things that hold the wheels on, for you non-skateboard-savvy types) are tough and durable. And, to be sure, the electronics were supposed to be water-resistant (more on that later).
Boosted Board Reaction to Battery Issues
Boosted released a statement that says as much. Luckily, these boards are fortified with fire-retardant enclosures and the folks reported no fire, flames, burns, bandages or damage to their property. It seems that aside from the battery packs themselves, the boards and both their prospective riders came out mostly unscathed.
It’s worth noting that 1st generation boards have yet to experience any of the problems that these 2nd gen boards did. Boosted stressed that you probably shouldn’t leave them charging unattended but, other than that, you’re good to go.
Either way, people were a little freaked out and for good reason. Recently, it seems like you can’t cook an egg without reading about some minor disaster involving a light electric vehicle. Generally, these problems have been relegated to the electric skateboard’s exceedingly swaggy little brother, the hoverboard. Some have caught fire in malls, homes and have racked up 12 different safety violations. In fact, just this year, half a million boards have been recalled already. Package this with what happened with the Galaxy Note 7 and Boeing 747s and you’ll see that it hasn’t exactly been a banner year for lithium-ion batteries on a whole.
To their credit, Boosted Board acted lightening fast and did the responsible thing by recovering the boards in question within twenty-four hours. They then turned them over to a third-party laboratory for further testing.
Of course, they delayed shipping on all 2nd generation boards and offered any customers who felt their electric skateboard dreams compromised full refunds. They also offered returns for current board owners and a one-year extension on their warranties. Of all of the times of the year for this to happen for an up-and-coming LEV company, the holiday season is probably the worst. Tensions are high and people desperately want to wake up Christmas morning to their new, cool electric skateboard.
Boosted Board Busted Batteries: What Went Wrong
Boosted Board hoped to avoid a massive recall and it looks like they may have done just that. As it turned out, there was a problem in Boosted Board’s manufacturing process and resulted in what they called a “quality control issue” wherein water entered the battery packs of the two customers’ boards and short-circuited the electronics.
They posted an update a few weeks after the initial incident stating that both of the batteries responded as they were intended— after the initial short-circuiting, an error was displayed and then the board was deactivated and was unable to be ridden. Even so, this short-circuit ended up generating heat inside the battery pack and the aforementioned fire-retardant enclosure did not allow a much worse or fiery incident.
Boosted’s crack team of engineers and designers undertook a full assessment of their development and manufacturing process and have taken steps to make sure that these issues don’t happen again. They’re hoping to have an updated shipping schedule to consumers by December 9th.
It’s a good thing too. Boosted Board consistently receive high marks and rave reviews from consumers and media outlets alike. They’re quickly becoming the most talked about electric skateboard company in the market and it casts a dark shadow over the light electric vehicle movement as a whole when something like this happens to one their own.
Perhaps it’s high time that all light electric vehicles start being held to the same standards as hoverboards, that is, they should all be UL certified. If you’re not familiar, UL certification is this wonderful method that makes sure things don’t just burst into flames when they’re charging in the corner of our home (and it comes with a fancy, shiny sticker). For more info on UL certification, head on over to our handy UL Certification Guide!