Future Motion is spending another CES improving its one-wheeled self-balancing electric skateboard, which is (perhaps obviously) called the Onewheel. The new version, called the Onewheel+ XR, is an advancement of last year’s Onewheel+, which was faster, quieter, and easier ride than the original version from 2015.
The big gain this year is range. Future Motion has reworked the battery architecture to double the distance this rideable can travel on a single charge. Instead of a modest 6-8 miles, the new version can travel between 12-18 miles.
It’s a nice bump that puts it in genuine “commuter vehicle” territory, and should make it easier to pull off round trips without requiring the rider to bring the charger along. The company says the new board will be a bit more powerful, too. Customers will have to pay for this luxury, though, because the Onewheel+ XR costs $1,799. It’s a shame — rideables have been around for a few years now, but the cost of the best ones still hasn’t come down. In some situations, like this, they’re going up.
Otherwise The Onewheel+ XR is, unsurprisingly, not a radical departure from its predecessors. Future Motion has refined the design over the years, but the board still operates the same way as always — you straddle your feet around a fat wheel in the middle of the board, and lean left or right to go forward or backward. It has tail lights and headlights, like past models, too.
The curious design means the Onewheel has never been as popular as something like the Boosted electric skateboard. But it stands out, and I’ve seen enough people whipping around on these in cities like New York, Los Angeles, an San Francisco to know that the extra range will be welcomed by a few folks with deep pockets.