Our youtube channel subscribers have noticed a lot of solar related videos being dumped lately. From the 1300 watt installation on an electric sailboat to panel wiring tutorials to a follow up with Mark Havran, you'd be forgiven to think that the sun was always shining in Vancouver!
Anyways, summer may be winding down but our interest in the overlap between solar energy capture and personal sized EV's keeps growing. We now have a wide assortment of 50W to 170W Sunpower solar panels in stock, a good supply of MPPT charge controllers, and have recently written a new solar kit info page for those wanting to learn more. The sun may not be shining much anymore but there are many reasons to see how solar fits in with your winter project plans, not to mention that next summer the famous Suntrip Solar Ebike Race is taking place in America.
The past few weeks we've been on a massive ramp up Baserunner L10 controller production now that all the PCB's are on hand.
The new V4 model uses exclusively waterproof plugs, and also has future options (not currently supported but in development) for a direct PAS or Torque sensor hookup to the controller without a CA3 and native motor temperature sensing.
We are glad to have these controllers available again and can continue selling medium to high power ready-to-roll kits with the electronics all neatly tucked away!
Unfortunately their availability also coincides with the Phaserunner controllers becoming out of stock. Due to all the supply issues with semiconductors it seems that the best case is mid 2022 before we'll be able to produce our Phaserunner units again. There are other 72V compatible controller options that we are exploring as a stop gap for those requiring 72V compatibility.
Well the long wait is finally over as the containers trickle in. We're back to having full stock of Downtube and LiGo batteries, CA3 devices, rims, and many other parts for sending out complete kit systems again. The only key item missing now are the Baserunner_L10 motor controllers for medium to high power kits, and those are expected sometime in August.
SX1 vs G311?
In the meantime, we are extremely happy with the state of our two smaller geared motor systems, the G311/G310 from Bafang and the SX1/SX2 from Shengyi. They both really shine in the low to medium assist levels and our recent updates with the dual speed/temperature sensor has eliminated the overheating risk. We made a little comparison video to help highlight the differences and similarities between these hubs and help you decide!
These ready-to-roll kits are in good supply since they use the smaller Baserunner_Z9 motor controllers and for many people are the perfect addition to a commuter bike.
Well it's the middle of 2021 and you'd think from our blog updates that not much has been going on since the move. But as usual quiet on the blog is because we are wildly busy behind the scenes!
As has been widely discussed, 2021 is proving to be an exceedingly difficult year to navigate in the manufacturing industry. Oversease shipping costs have tripled, lead times on most ebike part orders have gone from 8-12 weeks to more like 8-12 months, if we can get them at all. We've been working exceedingly hard navigating this situation, finding alternative suppliers and backup plans to ensure we continue having items available for customers interested in DIY ebike builds.
In spite of our best attempts and planning over winter, the situation is still far from ideal. Here is an update on some key parts:
- Downtube Batteries: Many lower capacity models have been out of stock or cells not available, but our shipment ordered in January is finally expected to arrive at the begining of August and the full range available. Expect higher prices than before.
- Baserunner_L10 Controllers: Unfortunately these key controllers for our higher power ready-to-roll kits have been sold out since May, but spot buying and part substitution should yield a relief batch again in early August.
- CA3-WP: Many orders from the last few weeks have been hung up from an outage of CA3 devices, but luckily our next production is imminent and back ordered kits will be shipping this week.
Otherwise though, we are doing great in the supply of smaller geared motors and lower power ready-to-roll kits, and continue the rollout of innovative electric systems for DIY conversion of other vehicle types beyond ebikes.
Wheelbarrow motor and Kit
After the unexpected success of our initial order of geared wheelbarrow motors, we now have a fresh supply this time with the 16" wheelbarrow tires already installed to facilitate use of this hub in custom low speed and high torque projects.
Here's an overview video we just released of the motor
And a first order preview of the conversion kit
Marine Conversion Drive
We're also making great headway in our development of a custom high-RPM hub motor for direct drive in sailboats with inboard engines, and are taking this from our proof-of-concept into a commercial project this summer.<
For those interested, we have a sign-up sheet and are sending out update emails to keep in the loop of our rollout plans and participate in this pilot. Here's the latest video update showing the power of this hub right up to 5kW, and we have an even larger motor model that will do 8kW:
Adapter for Bosch Batteries
We've also got an initial batch of custom XLR->Bosch adapter cables made up to charge Bosch battery systems using our Satiator charger. This is one of the most often requested adapters and we're glad to finally have a solution.
The overmolded plug includes built-in electronics with a 42.5V cutoff as an extra safety against accidental use with a higher voltage charge profile, and we're looking forward to feedback from early adapters before we produce them in bulk.
Finally we've been continuously enhancing aspects of our website since the fall platform upgrade. Now you should be able to see much more relevant information about the components of each conversion kit, eta dates for out of stock options, automatic links to our motor simulator, and dynamically generated spec information among other things.
We know that there is still a long way to go to simplify navigating and finding the information you want, and appreciate your feedback and patience. This is a constant work-in-progress.
Thank you everyone for your patience the past week. We managed to clear through a huge backlog of stuff and really straighten out our systems and organization for the season ahead.
Our online store checkout is now open again! As a small treat our videographer Aaron Enevoldsen created a fun musical montage of our setup into the new space.
There are some customers having problems logging into their original account and we hope to have a fix for that very soon.
Happy Easter to everyone out there. After some deliberation we've decided to pause all new orders from now until the end of next week to catch-up on our order backlog, make fixes to our website back-end, and do a proper rollout of our new inventory system. This will let us get back to having ~1-3 day shipping lead times instead of the 1-2 weeks that has has been the norm since our move. It will make it easier to keep you updated on order status and potential delays, and it will allow our website to maintain much more accurate stock levels.
During this time we will be working hard to get all existing unshipped orders processed and out the door. The info content and tools on our website should still work but the store catalogue will be changing around and may be unavailable at various points. We expected to be live again on Friday with the new system fully deployed.
Thanks for your understanding and we look forward to finalizing this step of our move and preparation for an exciting year ahead.
Well the year is off to a very busy start as we continue to settle in our new home. Meanwhile though a little R&D project we started last year retrofitting a sailbaot with a hub motor electric drive has been gaining lots of steam.
We're considering a pilot program to test this out on a wide range of sailboats later this summer, and are looking for potential early adopter customers (preferably in BC) who have suitable vessels they want to convert. Ideally this would be crafty boat owners who have a sailboat between 22-36 feet with an inboard engine that's maybe on it's last legs.
If that's you or someone you know, please fill out our form with details about your boat (length, displacement) and engine (HP, operating RPM if you know it) and some background. It's an exciting prospect to have our already quite versatile All Axle motor to find a place replacing noisy, polluting, and smelly diesel engines on the water too.
|On Wednesday we had our first set of orders picked up by Canada Post at our new location.||There's not much left to do at our old 950 Powell Street address other than playing trapeze in the giant empty warehouse.|
We're happy to announce that the major hurdle of moving is now over and we're able to start catching up on all the orders, shipments, and emails that have accumulated in the past 2 weeks. Thanks for all of your patience and encouragement as we weathered some small disruptions for a big leap forward.
Here are a few notes on our current fulfilment status:
- Basic orders that don't require setup and programming, wheelbuilds, or tested batteries have been flying out the door as our shipping department is chipping away at the backlog
- We are still on track to resume wheel lacing services and shipping complete kits at the start of February
- The shop is not open for retail visits but we are resuming the scheduled in person pick-up of prepaid orders for local customers
- Our sales/support team has been working away at emails and phone calls on a priority basis. There are still many emails going back 10 days or more and we will keep working hard to get caught up
We're excited about 2021 and hope that you are too. Things have been moving fast preparing and renovating our new shop space, and while we didn't have much disruption during the holidays that's going to change in the weeks ahead:
Full Shutdown: Jan 18th - 24th
In the 3rd week of January we will be closed completely while we actually move the entire contents of our operation. There won't be any shipments, emails, or phone support as all our staff will quite literally have their hands full.
Limited Shipments: Jan 25th - 30th
In the final week of January we should be able to resume shipping basic parts orders from the new location, but not the more complicated conversion kits with wheelbuilds etc. Our sales team should be mostly setup in their new offices for phone and email support but we will not be able to do RMA processing or in-store visit.
Back in Biz: Feb/March
By early to mid February we should be all geared up to resume shipping full conversion kits, do custom wheelbuilds, process RMA's, and offer in person order pickup. Most of our manufacturing will be up and running and we'll be turning the cranks of our machinery to make things happen on a whole new scale.
We can't wait to show off the new digs from which we'll be proudly serving you for years to come, so stay tuned, mind the near-term disruptions, and have a wonderfully happy new year!