Dear PodRide Supporter,
Time for another update on PodRide’s development.
In our last update we mentioned that we were not satisfied with the high number of custom parts and the associated complexity in the PodRide design. The design had too many custom components, which translates to higher production costs, more manufacturing and assembly issues, a higher retail price, more spare parts & support, and overall not a good thing.
To address this matter, we brought on a new team member in Mike Singleton. Mike’s mandate is to lower the parts count, lower the weight, and greatly simplify the design so we can produce and sell PodRide at a lower price. There is still much to do, but Mike is making good progress and a real impact on the PodRide design. By the time we are finished, we may achieve a reduction in the number custom components in the vicinity of 25 to 40%.
In addition, the design has been modified to greatly simplify many components so that they can be produced in fewer manufacturing processes – again reducing complexity and cost. (Please note: that these design changes are “under the bonnet”, and PodRide will still very much look and perform like PodRide from the outside.)
To provide you with a better insight into the type problems that we’re solving, here are a couple of examples.
1. Upper Body Tube Joining:
A major issue in the manufacturing of PodRide is the assembly of all the tubes in the upper body that form the shape of PodRide. In the prototype, and in the previous CAD models we were using joiner plates that were made from metal which is cut and bent to the needs of each join. These are relatively simple to make, but a significant issue comes from drilling and precisely lining up all the corresponding holes in each tube that needs to be joined. This method also requires a huge amount of rivets or other fasteners to assemble the framework.
To greatly simplify upper body assembly we have designed a far simpler and more effective means to join the tubes. It involves a simple “branch” piece molded to suit the number and orientation of tubes that form the join, then we have “buds” or “tube connectors” at the end of each branch. This provides a simple mechanism to clamp and hold the tubes in place, without the need for drilling any holes, or using any rivets or other fasteners. This new design will make assembly much faster, easier and cost effective.
This diagram shows how a join was handled on the original design and PodRide prototype with joiner plates..
Shown below is our new approach to joining tubes. With the new connector we negate the need for any holes to be drilled in the tubes or the connectors, and remove the associated precision and alignment issues, making assembly much faster and simpler. It’s also much better visually. The tubes get inserted into the bud and a threaded compression coupler is used to squeeze down and lock the tubes in place.
Another example of our design simplification is seen in the rear swingarm that holds the axle for the rear wheels. We have simplified the design, removed elaborate tube bends, reduced the complexity in the welding, and the number of manufacturing processes. We achieve the same functionality but with a cheaper and stronger component, that is 35% lighter!
This is the original design for the rear swingarm.
The new design utilizes simpler components, reducing manufacturing costs and simplifying welding/assembly.
So in summary we are happy with the progress that we are making in the simplification of PodRide with the goal of making PodRide more affordable for more people.
Our other priority right now is raising investment needed to fund the completion of product development & testing, and then begin manufacturing.
We are getting closer to production, but can’t do it without additional funding. We are now actively seeking investors to help us get PodRide on the market. Our CEO David is speaking with potential investors to present the PodRide investment opportunity. If you know someone that is a qualified investor that could invest a minimum of €50,000, please let them know about PodRide and have them contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
David, Mikael and the PodRide Team