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California just abolished its longstanding ban on electric skateboards

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Image used with permission by copyright holder
It’s been nearly four decades since California first said “no, thank you” to electric skateboards, but now new legislation is catching up to new technology. On Sunday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 604, officially granting electric skateboards the right to go anywhere bikes can go. Welcome to the big leagues, electric skateboarders. It’s good to have you.

The initial ban, which was implemented in 1977, took issue with the fact that most boards relied on two stroke gas engines that were both environmentally unfriendly and noisy. But now, we’ve abandoned the gas-powered model and moved towards high-capacity lithium battery powered skateboards, which are not only zero emission, but also much less disruptive to fellow road sharers.

Skateboards, which are particularly popular forms of transportation in California (though mostly in the traditional variety and not the motorized kind), are quickly developing to take advantage of advances in technology. Companies like ZBoard and Intuitive Motion are based in California and have released a number of electric skateboards with rather hefty price tags that manufacturers say have been less popular because of the pre-existing ban. But now that there are no legal roadblocks, these companies are hopeful that they’ll see a spike in sales.

“We are grateful that the Governor recognized the need to allow for this technology,” Brad Phillipi, chief financial officer of Intuitive Motion, told the Wall Street Journal. Indeed, as a result of the decades-old ban, the company found that many customers would place orders, do their research, and subsequently cancel their electric skateboard shipments believing them to be illegal. And while most of these high-tech skateboards currently hover around $600 a pop, there are hopes that an increase in their popularity will also lead to a price reduction.

So now that ZBoard has just released its ZBoard 2 and it’s officially protected by the law, you’ve no excuse not to indulge in your fantasies to stand still and move. After all, what better way is there to enjoy California sunshine?

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Lulu Chang
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