Hey there Etergo enthusiasts,
Our engineers have been hard at work down in the AppCave testing different assembly fixtures and tools for our production line and getting ready for the production shipments from our suppliers around the world.
After a long time, it’s finally getting real! Our patience, persistence and hard work will be rewarded and we’re going to start testing the assembly of the production version a few weeks from now.
With the production line being set-up, the goal is to manufacture the first batch of early Dutch investor editions in February and then deliver these in March. So as you can imagine, the last weeks and months have been very hectic and required our full focus to prepare for this.
In the meantime, we have lots of new product updates to share directly from the AppCave to you:
FIRST PRODUCTION INTENT PARTS HAVE COME IN
This is it. The AppScooter production-version is coming and the manufacturing of the serial production molds for the components has now started. During the intense last months of engineering for manufacturing and testing, we identified a number of improvements that were needed at the component and assembly level.
Below you can read about these improvements, the reasons behind them and also get a feeling for the quality and finish of our production parts:
DRIVETRAIN IMPROVEMENTS FOR RELIABILITY & SERVICING
We’ve improved the design of the housing of the motor and belt on our drivetrain to:
- Give it a lower unsuspended weight which improves overall handling
- Increase its performance potential
- Make production, assembly and servicing faster, easier and cheaper
- Meet belt protection standards globally
- Reduce maintenance & increase reliability and lifetime of drivetrain components
We are confident this final design will satisfy your need for speed and quality. Below you can see the development of our motor from 2016 until the frozen design we’re using today:
APPSCOOTER COCKPIT THERMAL & RELIABILITY IMPROVEMENTS
It was like Christmas morning for our engineers when we received our shiny new infotainment screen:
What’s so exciting about this updated version? While testing our prototype versions, we noticed a limiting issue: heat coming from the lights, exposure to the sun and the brightness of the screen itself were cranking up the heat on our screen.
This meant that after a long time in the sun, the old screen would no longer be able to function properly. With our improved design, we’ve been able to solve this challenge and improve the overall reliability, also in hotter climates, resulting in:
- New and more robust housing design
- Split electronics in 3 separate modules
- Added cooling ribs for better heat dissipation
- A change from plastic to an aluminum casing
- Higher grade screen and more reliable components
On the right, you can see the production version of our high-quality aluminum casing for the screen, with automotive-grade connectors and cooling ribs.
The switch from plastic to aluminum helps to make it more robust and keep it cooler under the sun. It allows us to use efficient thermal connections to get the heat from the internal components to move to the casing and then dissipate into the air through the larger surface area created by the ribs.
Check out our recent interview with User Interface team lead Bob van Iersel about how his team tackled the challenge of creating an intuitive cockpit interface that’s both smart and safe.
BLINKERS HAVE MOVED TO THE BODY
We’ve had to move the blinkers from the cockpit to the body of the scooter. After various individual component improvements and assembly tests, there wasn’t enough space for the blinkers in the cockpit without it becoming too bulky.
Additionally, the assembly in the cockpit proved to be overly complex and crowded. Moving the blinkers to the body is a return to our very first designs, reduces costs, increases thermal performance, makes servicing easier and also just looks really good.
Our tail light and headlamp have also been updated to make them more efficient. This way they’ll use less energy and generate less heat. This means they’ll be better suited for warmer environments. Check out the production versions of these beauties:
*A large part of the visible light package is concealed behind the body panels
BUDDY SPACE INTERIOR IMPROVED (PATENT BEING APPLIED)
Based on the feedback and testing from the pre-production prototypes, we’ve further improved the buddy space interior resulting in:
- Improved user experience
- More premium look and feel
- More robust storage
- Easier assembly, service and maintenance
- Better protection for the batteries
- Improved power routing and cable protection
- Better protection of the battery sliding tray from dirt
Our production version also gives us more space for power electronics and allowed us to improve our overall wading depth. This ensures AppScooter will work in humid conditions and won’t break down during (small) floods. For this, we had to reduce the total available space to around 50 liters, but it still fits a full beer crate, 2 full-face helmets, a good-sized sports bag and lots of other gear.
We have the finished design assembled but cannot share the photos yet because we’re still applying for the patents. However, feel free to drop by at one of our investor events. After signing an NDA, we can show and tell you all the juicy details!
Since the workshop has been finished, it has been in constant use to prepare all the different parts and prototypes for testing and validating designs and specs. This better-organized workspace allows us to operate a lot more effectively and ensures we can tackle any problem that comes up during testing and in the run-up to production.
That’s all for now but check back again soon for an update on investment, market conditions and company growth.