Dear PodRide Supporter
Happy New Year! 2018 promises to be a great year.
This is the year that PodRide will go on sale.
Interest in PodRide continues to be strong, with up to many hundreds of new supporters joining our mailing list every day.
Time for another update..
Company Formation and Investment:
The legals and paperwork for the company incorporation is progressing well and fingers crossed will be completed in the next 2 weeks. The final obstacle of opening a bank account (for an international operation like PodRide) is still to be resolved, but we are taking a new approach to this.
Assuming the bank account can be sorted out in a timely manner, this would mean we can go live with our equity fundraising next month. So, if you are interested in exploring the possibility of becoming a PodRide shareholder and have not already done so, you can register your interest here and we’ll make sure you are informed.
The 3D computerized model of PodRide is pretty much complete.
Recently we have finalized the design of a more professional closing mechanism for the hood/roof, and improved safety aspects too. There are a bunch of boring but crucial little items that have also been completed such as fastening plates for the tube connections on the top, brackets and spoiler sheet for the front windscreen and many more.
The roof on the PodRide prototype was made by stretching fabric over an aluminum frame. This involved a lot of detailed and time consuming cutting, shaping and sewing work.
To simplify manufacturing and lower unit costs in production, we are looking to produce the roof as a single component that is manufactured by thermoforming EVA foam (that is laminated with fabric or other material). This thermoforming process requires a mold to be precision milled out of a solid block of aluminium. The laminated foam material for the roof is heated to allow it to conform to the mold, and upon cooling it keeps the shape. Whilst the cost of producing the mold is expensive, the per unit price to produce each roof via thermoforming is much lower than the way that the prototype roof was produced. These are the types of production issues that need to be addressed for many components.
Based on your feedback we have redesigned the rear door that now opens from the side rather than from the top, with hinges on the side rather than the bottom. This will make it easier for you to access and work with the cargo compartment on PodRide, and we have also added a lock so that you can secure the contents.
We still have a number of boring but crucial items to resolve such as:
- Front grill and ventilation
- Weather strips and guides for hood/roof to align/seal with the lower body
- Brackets for windscreen wiper
We also need to come up with a way to best stretch and fasten the fabric to the frame. This is much trickier than you would imagine. Whilst the fabric is well attached to the frame on the prototype, it was a time consuming matter to do so, and we want to make it cost effective for mass production, and much easier and quicker for you to apply the fabric to the frame.
As mentioned in our last update, the design optimization for manufacture is at a point now where we are ready to start the next round of prototyping, as soon as the funding is in place. We are keen to get started on this ASAP.
Warm regards from the PodRide team.