Pacific Cycle’s Mongoose brand had dipped its toe into economy-priced e-scooters for the kids market several years ago. It was a good idea that was too ahead of its time. Their scooter lacked differentiation and was dropped from the product line after disappointing sales.
Since then, the market for e-motion has exploded. It seemed like a good time to take a fresh look at the opportunity. Pacific Cycle wanted to get back in the kids market with an economical e-scooter targeted to 8-12-year-olds who would use it as a fun way to get around and visit friends — more of a toy than transportation.
This time, they wanted a fresh angle to set them apart. The challenge? A competitor’s patent that prevented them from using the most obvious motor technology. Delve was called in to figure out a new way to propel the scooter.
But it had to do more than just get around a patent — it had to be an improvement that would be attractive to kids.
To start, we did a quick search of IP and analysis of products on the market. Our engineering team explored several motor applications then narrowed to three — spur gear, belt drive, and cycloidal drive. Then we built ride-on proof-of-principle models of all three drive methods and tested them for noise, vibration, torque, performance at top speed, and other factors.
While the cycloidal system was novel, had great IP potential, and was reasonably economical, it didn’t create the desired riding experience. After weighing the pros and cons of each system, Pacific Cycle chose the belt-driven system, which had a cool bonus — it’s quiet.
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