After attracting over $400,000 of investment via Kickstarter, the firm behind the Raine One e-scooter has announced it is to ‘pause’ the project. Enova Design has cited escalating costs and told backers that it cannot issue refunds as the money has already been invested, “in IP, stock and materials, parts and tooling.”
The Kickstarter campaign for the Raine One electric scooter was launched in 2019, promising a 12kg 750W carbon fibre e-scooter with a top speed of 31mph (50 km/h).
For under $1,000 backers also expected to get full-suspension, GPS navigation and ABS braking.
The project had inevitably faced delays over the last year, but writing a few weeks ago there was talk of the first units shipping this month.
However, Electrek reports that the Raine One team will instead ‘hibernate’.
“We have received a cost increase on the weekend of several hundreds of thousands of dollars from the overseas supply chain doing our build,” said an Enova Design spokesperson. “This is a huge change that blows us out of the water on cost and supply.
“A significant amount of the increase is material and parts. From metals used in electric motors and all our mechanical parts, and another large increase added from 3-5x pricing last week from the current scarcity of microchips and electronic components coming from the global semiconductor shortage.
“On top of that, freight costs are trending at 2.5x the previous freight price index. We had a recent and smaller increase on this that we had a buffer to cover. This is something we cannot overcome today.”
Explaining the plan of inaction, the spokesperson continued: “We must hibernate and come back online when the market conditions work. We are reducing all expenses until this time has passed.
“If or when the conditions return to deliver, we will do so. We know that our ongoing business model is successful, we plan for this to be a pause, not an end.
“For anyone that pre-ordered off our website – we are refunding, that process has already commenced.
“Kickstarter project backers – sadly we can't send backer funds back – they have been used in the project, in our investment in IP, stock and materials, parts and tooling. However when we relaunch, we will honour the reward and provide a product then.”