• Jan 2nd 2012 at 4:13PM
  • 14
Kickstarter is an amazing idea: let people with ideas pitch them directly to the masses with money. For alternative-powered vehicles, though, the website has not been too successful in bringing about people-powered change. Perhaps that's because the big OEMs are already providing the new and different cars that people want. Perhaps it's because the pitches simply aren't persuasive enough. Whatever the case, we went looking through the KS archives to see how alternative powertrains did there (most of these projects were attempted in 2010) and found, well...

The idea of an electric car music tour came close, receiving $30,000, or 60 percent of its $50,000 funding target. Thus, we never did see a journey to "promote our electric car technology and our music in the same tour ... to promote the conversion of automobiles from gas to all-electric – one of the themes in our environmental song and video, 'Our World.'" The "Frankencar" project, which wanted to build an EV that could go 200 miles per charge and recharge in 45 minutes that only got $637 pledged of its $14,000 goal. Another EV hope that died on the KS vine was the open-source Paxterra Photon S3. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea of a "self-sustaining electric vehicle" also went unfunded. Oh, where there was this: "Sorry, no results for 'hydrogen car,'" so it looks like H2 advocates have stayed away from KS for now.

The idea of an open source alternative-energy vehicle (admittedly, not the same as a crowd-funded project, but in a similar vein) has been tried before, and often with more success, from Riversimple's open-source hydrogen car to the diesel-powered Rally Fighter to the ChargeCar.

What has been successful on Kickstarter? No electric or biofuel or hydrogen vehicle projects that we could find, but the electric rollerskates called spnKiX (pictured) got twice as much money pledged as the project organizers say they needed, and the funding window is still open for another month. When it comes to battery-powered transportation, KS teaches us to aim small.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Uh, no thank you, i'll take my $1300 electric bike build that's faster, safer, has a longer range, and some actual brakes.. There are a lot of wacko electric transportation concepts out there. Turns out that a bike or scooter are what actually sell. Hm, fancy that :P
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        1) there are actually many scooters that can be folded up and do fit in a backpack actually. 2) Do we really need motorized walking now? 3) Would you fork out a thousand or two dollars to help you walk faster? If so, congratulations.. you're part of the 0.025% of the population who would ever consider buying something like this.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Yes, and those razor scooters are WILDLY popular. But then you say that hardly nobody would consider buying this? That doesn't make sense. Just because you value the few hundred extra calories you would burn by walking the distances that this would replace... doesn't mean that thousands of people won't make that trade. I value my time between classes. I hate how some schedules make you run or jog across campus to make it on time when the instructor from the last class doesn't let you out early. Living in Florida makes it problematic (even with a self powered scooter) if you don't want to arrive at your next class a bit sweaty. AND, I work out almost every day. I do my exercise DURING MY EXERCISE TIME... and I don't want to do it when I am rushed. This is not a "0.025% of the population" type of problem. It gives people options. ---------------- A 180 lb person walking at moderate speed only burns 100 calories per mile. Not buying a soda, does way more for you. Taking a 15 minute run does WAY more for you. Quit nitpicking as if every opportunity for marginal exercise is worth more than the alternatives. For example, do you advocate that everyone should live on the 3rd floor or higher and never take the elevator? No, because convenience has it's place in our world. And it is better to simply eat right and exercise than worry about every minuscule calorie.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          No scooters are popular here, Joe, but you do see them for sale used quite often. They actually do sell. I'm not an excersize junkie in any way.. notice that i ride and talk about electric bikes frequently.. :) I guess at least they have one buyer so far.. :)
        Joeviocoe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        I don't know, lots of folks can't fit their bike into a backback. Running around a campus can be tiresome. Brakes aren't very necessary at 10 mph. I run at 8 mph already, it won't take long to get used to these.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good god, have we really reached the point where we need a device to do our walking for us? I'm just totally perplexed. Humans are designed for walking, especially distance walking. We're killing ourselves with convenience, as obesity and heart disease skyrocket. I'm currently staying in a California suburb for the holiday, and I went out for a walk tonight, a warm winter evening. I walked for blocks and blocks and didn't see another soul out on foot. Please, people, walk, and bike. If you drive, park all the way out in the parking lot. College kids especially should need no help getting around their freaking campus. Slow the hell down, take your time, if it's under a mile walk, and if it's under 5, ride your bike.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        If it's over 5 or you got no bike lanes, ride your ebike.. over 50, take the car.. :) But yeah, people are getting quite lazy, we'll see the laziness increase as lithium batteries get better and better. Everything will have electric assist... :(
        Fons Jena
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think your comment is about the best one I ever read on any blogsite. If I could give you a hundred thumbs up I would do it. Our technology is harming the human nature to a degree it is becoming frightening. I hope people will develop a protective mentality against these 'temptations of the devil'. I bike to school and it relaxes me too (the air quality is poor but if every car would be electric biking will only get better and better...).
          Fons Jena
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Fons Jena
          Sorry forgot to say this very appropriate quote: "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." (H.G. Wells) And Kickstarter is an awesome site and initiative, whish Europe had an equivalent.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Fons Jena
          Thanks man, I love the Wells quote. It's my FB status now!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it could be possible via other platform of crowdfunding more business-oriented. For instance http://www.mymicroinvest.com/ is a new crowdfunding platform that propose to invest toghether with an investment fund in new project or project in development. You should have a look on it. it has high potential ! Particularly for such field
      paulwesterberg
      • 3 Years Ago
      Or you could buy some roller blades for less than half the cost.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      some of those projects may not be very worthy but kickstarters do seem to be somewhat hipsters and sensation chasers rather than wise supporters of innovation. there was this gimmicky bicycle lights scheme that got a ton of money when in reality it's a bad idea. but it looked cool on video so they bought it. these spin kix probably wont revolutionize the world either
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