Since our last update we have:
- Continued work on pre-production assemblies
- Been in constant communication with the Beta 3.0 testing group
- Evaluated, diagnosed, and fixed the small percentage of failures in this group
- Finalized plans for Canadian, Mexican, European and Australian shipping
This update will go into the current takeaways from Beta 3.0 testing, state the production schedule going forward, and go over the process for certain international customers paying their shipping and tax.
Takeaways So Far from Beta 3.0 Testing
Overall we've been hearing fantastic things from Beta testers including:
"I will say that I have no prior board experience other than some casual wake boarding (very different). With that said, I couldn’t believe how intuitive (!) the controls were. Within my first ride I had moved up to normal mode with no issues. Given another day and I was already in expert mode." -CG, New York
"Tons of fun to ride (only took a few ride to be comfortable). Easy to carve. Acceleration and braking are good. LED lights are good for riding at night (very bright)." - DH, California
"Incredible work on the Pearl. YOU GUYS ARE MY FUCKIN' HEROS!" -JW, Maryland
The mass majority of boards have been working great with a far lower issue rate then Beta 2.1. Very few Beta customers have experienced the issues mentioned below and those who have we're handling on a case by case basis. However, because we're pursuing a 0% issue rate, we are working diligently to find out how to fix/prevent issues from happening to anyone else going forward. For the small amount of boards that have had issues we've qualified them as one of the following:
1) Occasional board shut offs due to improper tuning of the battery management system.
The battery management system (BMS) is a critical part of the ZBoard as it monitors current spikes and dips, and will momentarily disconnect and reconnect the battery if it observes a potential dangerous current anomaly. This happens instantaneously and as a rider you likely do not even notice that it is happening.
Our battery management system has been designed to handle a wide scope of current spike /dip scenarios but in evaluating boards in the field though we've learned that certain batteries display current dips that are outside the expected range. With a very small amount of battery packs, the BMS will occasionally disconnect the battery as expected, but not reconnect it, causing the board to turn off. When this occurs the board must be plugged back into the charger for the BMS to reconnect. After this occurs the board will operate normally.
We are working on both a solution for this issue and are evaluating whether it is necessary to ship back, remove, and replace the small amount of batteries having this issue.
2) Battery chargers unable to make a secure connection
As we discussed in a previous update, each charger is equipped with a diode that ensures the ZBoard's battery can handle regenerative braking, even when fully charged. In evaluating Beta 3.0 testing we've learned that some of these diode were not making a secure connection.
We've increased the rigor or our charger testing to prevent this from happening going forward. To be clear, the majority of chargers in the field are 100% functional. But, if your board is not charging (you'll know by the LED on the charger remaining green even when plugging the board in after a ride), then please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll walk you through troubleshooting steps, and determine if we need to ship you a replacement.
The items above are only happening to a very small percentage of boards and are being solved on a case by case basis. None of the small issues above require concern for any current riders unless they are experiencing the symptoms described. If you are experiencing the symptoms above and are not yet in contact with us, please email us at email@example.com
Currently we are testing these minor adjustments in the field. We need additional testing days and feedback from testers in order to verify the changes have indeed solved these rare but noteworthy issues, so with this in mind we have decided to extend field testing for an additional two weeks:
While we have pushed back the beginning of production shipping we are hard at work at pre-production sub-assemblies that will increase production output once we begin in two weeks.
Shipping costs and timeframes to Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand
We've been working closely with our international partners to finalize timelines and costs for international shipping. We've now finalized costs and timelines for the following regions:
- New Zealand
If you are waiting on delivery in one of these regions check out our full details on shipping / tax fees here.
If your region is not on the list above know that we are hard at work to finalize the last steps of the logistics process to deliver your board.
From the Founders
Its been great to receive feedback from our Beta 3.0 testers - we've heard some amazing stories from people riding all over the country. We're excited to get into production and to get customers all over the country and all over the world riding.
Ben, Geoff, and the ZBoard Team