Quikbyke Q•pod Electric Bicycle Rental System
Quikbyke Q•pod Electric Bicycle Rental System
Create prototype mobile solar-powered electric bicycle rental shop based on 20 ft shipping container, complete with 15 bikes.
Create prototype mobile solar-powered electric bicycle rental shop based on 20 ft shipping container, complete with 15 bikes. Read more
About this project
Quikbyke's mission is simple: get more of us off our car seats more often and onto bicycle saddles by introducing more people to the delight of riding an electric-assist bicycle for "Fun, Fitness, and a Greener Future For Us All."
Our plan is to rent top-quality electric bicycles in tourist markets on a seasonal cycle: winter in the tropics, summer in the north. By housing our e-bikes in repurposed 20 ft steel shipping containers that can be moved by truck, train, and ship, we not only maximize the use of the bikes on a year-round basis, but interact with many more people, the goal being to get folks to start thinking differently about their daily mobility choices. We don't intend to replace the automobile, just reduce its use for all those short, under-3-mile trips that we make, on average, 40+ percent of the time according to US government statistics.
And because we charge the bike batteries with sunshine, riders enjoy emission-free mobility with the freedom to go where they want, when they want, at assisted speeds up to 15 mph and with less sense of exertion, while still enjoying a beneficial level of exercise.
To prove the Quikbyke concept, we need to build our first all-in-one rental 'pop-up' shop, which we call Q•pod Job #1, and then deploy it as our first MVP (minimally-viable product), housing 15 electric bicycles and supporting systems, including battery storage, security, inventory, and reservation systems, along with mobile App development.
To incentivize supporters, we've added one very special and somewhat unusual 'twist' to the campaign: what we're calling the K15, a Greenstar Bikes Ecoforce 1 bamboo and recycled aluminum e-bike powered by the BIKE+ All-In-One hub motor by Zehus s.r.l. of Milan, Italy. At just over 31 pounds (less than 15 kg), the K15, including motor, is among the lightest electric bicycles anywhere. We are offering a signed, limited pre-production run of 150 of them for $1,975.00US. That allows us to assemble the bikes and have enough reserve to build Q•pod Job #1. You can learn more about the remarkable K15 at http://k15.quikbyke.com . Effectively, you get a great e-bike and you help use create our first rental pop-up shop.
By becoming a participant in this project, you get to help pioneer an exciting new way to encourage everyone to drive less and ride more, while owning one of the most beautiful e-bikes ever. And if you're not into that, we offer other inducements from T-shirts to a 8' x 20' one-of-a-kind piece of steel-backed street art on the back wall of the container. When we decommission Q•pod #1 in 3-5 years, the panel will be yours to keep or donate. You can see an illustrative example of a similar work of street art in this short, 50-second YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bBhAVLI2TY.
You can learn more about Quikbyke at http://quikbyke.com. If you're interested in the backstory on how the K15 came to be, read my EV World blog: "The Making of the K15". Also see KETV 7 television interview featuring the K15.
A Word About Our Funding Goal
We're seeking $275,000US; clearly a lot of money, certainly above the norm. We set this goal to accomplish two objectives: (1) put 150 K15 e-bikes into backer hands; and (2) deploy our first Quikbyke Q•pod. To do both, we've priced the K15 with enough margin to insure we can deliver on our promise AND have enough left to acquire, engineer, assembly, and put into the field for consumer testing the prototype solar Q•pod, complete with a full complement of modern e-bikes. We realize this isn't the usual way projects are crowd-funded, but it helps us accomplish our mission of getting more people onto electric-assist bicycles more often.
Risks and challenges
The Quikbyke campaign faces two key challenges: assembly and delivery of a promised 150 K15 e-bikes, and development and deployment of our first Q•pod. With respect to the K15, we have verbal agreements with both Greenstar Bikes of Minneapolis, Minnesota, supplier of the bamboo bike and Zehus s.r.l. in Italy for delivery of the motors, which will need to be 'laced' to the Greenstar bike's rear wheel, programmed, tested, and then shipped to the backer. We've arranged with a local freight forwarder for motor shipment by sea from Italy to the USA. We are confident we can deliver the bikes by the first quarter of 2016.
The larger task is the engineering of the Q•pod systems and here we have identified a regional container supplier and established relationships with several local engineering firms, as well as with the University of Nebraska engineering department. We've also identified local App developers, and much work has already been done coding the inventory and reservation management system. Still, this is a significant hardware and software engineering effort and challenges are likely to develop, but given EV World's extensive global network built over the last 17 years, we're confident we can find the help we need to resolve any problems that may crop up.
Finally, we have permission with both the city and a local real estate developer to temporarily locate the first Q•pod at one of the best possible locations in downtown Omaha for initial customer testing. We also are getting early expressions of interest in the concept from Bermuda to Florida to Hawaii and most recently New Zealand. We're even laying the groundwork to eventually open operations in Cuba.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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