Water Resistance + Battery Safety Update

January 20, 2017

Water Resistance + Battery Safety Update

We have some quick updates for everyone before the weekend. In this update we’re going to cover PowerShift™ Battery safety, a clarification on the water resistance of the M1™, our first M1 test ride event in San Francisco, and an update on the shipping schedule of all extra PowerShift Battery orders.

Battery Safety 

The safety of all Inboard products and our riders is our highest priority. In light of recent news, we felt it was worthwhile to discuss what Inboard has done regarding product safety and testing to avoid lithium ion battery failures. Lithium ion batteries were in the news quite a bit in 2016, and we want to reiterate that Inboard has gone to great lengths to test – both in the lab and in the field – the safety of our PowerShift battery packs. Inboard performs extensive lab testing to meet regulatory and compliance certifications, real world use-testing, and independent verification of cell and battery pack performance under varied conditions.

 

PowerShift Battery vibration stress testing

It's important to understand that lithium ion batteries are an energy source, just like the gasoline in a car. We treat gasoline with a healthy amount of respect, just as we treat electrical wall outlets with respect. Lithium ion battery packs are no different.

The Inboard team applauds fellow companies in the electric rideables space for how they have dealt with recent battery events. As with any new product category, there are unforeseen problems, including safety issues. We all go through extensive rounds of testing and design to avoid battery failures, but no amount of testing can make a product 100% failsafe. We can only continue to learn from our colleagues' experiences, knowing that all electric rideable companies want the same thing: a safe and reliable product.

Water Resistant vs. Waterproof

We designed the M1 to sustain reasonable skateboarding conditions. When we tested the M1 before release, we ran it through Ingress Protection (IP) testing to achieve an IP54 rating. IP54 is a passive test where the M1 is exposed to water sprayed from all angles. During normal riding conditions, a rider’s weight is almost always shifting on the battery bay lid. This makes it a very dynamic environment (see gif below) and can create areas of unequal pressure on the battery well gasket located under the lid. As such, the M1 is designed to be statically water resistant. When riding, and with a rider’s weight shifting on the battery lid, Inboard cannot 100% guarantee weight shifting won’t briefly break the seal of the battery lid while the battery lid flexes. Because of this, care should be taken whenever riding the M1 in wet conditions.

Dynamic flex of battery bay lid

We’ve had some questions about exactly how much water the M1 can withstand. The M1 is water resistant, not water proof, which means you should not ride it in consistent, pouring rain. Riding on very wet pavement decreases traction, other vehicles have decreased visibility, and you can potentially damage your M1 if exposed to too much water.

An easy rule of thumb we’ve been using to determine if it’s too wet to ride the M1 is to pay attention to the wheels. If the wheels are constantly throwing water back at the board over a long distance, it’s too wet to ride. In other words, if you can’t find any relatively dry patches of pavement to keep the wheels from consistently spraying water, it’s too wet. Stop riding.

We had some incidents with riders experiencing board failure due to water damage from riding in rain storms. We’ve since reviewed one board and replaced it, and are waiting on the other board to be sent to us. Since our previous communications on water resistance were not specific enough, we are now giving you the rule of thumb to use above. Moving forward, damage from water inside the battery bay will NOT be covered under the warranty. Inboard will happily service water damage to the M1 and bill the cost of repairs back to the customer.

Inboard at World’s Fair Nano event in San Francisco

The Inboard team will be attending the World’s Fair Nano in San Francisco on January 28th & 29th. If you’re planning on attending the event please come by and see us! We’ll be offering demos all day in a large test ride area where riders can put the M1’s new firmware 2.0 through its paces. We can’t wait to see you there!

Extra PowerShift Batteries are shipping!

We’re going to be shipping out a large batch of extra batteries all next week! So if you ordered an extra battery and have been wondering when it’ll ship, the answer is NEXT WEEK! We’ll be sending out estimated shipping window emails tonight (Friday) to all customers who ordered an Extra battery pack. 

We’ll still continue to ship out M1’s next week as well, but we wanted to get a large batch of batteries out the door so those who ordered them can experience the unlimited ride of the M1

Need help?

For any questions, comments, thoughts, or concerns, drop us an email at: support@inboardtechnology.com.

Sincerely,
The Inboard Team