WE SHIP WORLDWIDE. ALL PRICES IN US$
Just a quick note that we will soon be seeing photos and first reactions from the lucky winner of our contest Darren. Even though it was sent by air, due to the fact that its considered hazardous goods, it was segregated and flown separately to Singapore which ended up taking 1.5 weeks! We are super excited to hear first reactions from Darren.
Its not without a bit of irony that a recent study showed that in fact Stockholm is nearly the worst city in Sweden for users that take their bicycles to work. For those interested you can see the original story here
For us at Stark Drive, we can understand some of the prejudices that have been associated with taking a bike to work. There is the problem of finding a parking spot, perhaps difficulty in securing your bike, with a non electric bike the exertion can result in arriving to work extremely warm and sweaty not to mention the cost of obtaining even a regular bike in Stockholm can run into the thousands of SEK.
We att Stark Drive believe that cycling is something that is not only good for the environment but also good for the soul. We sell our ultra affordable electric bikes at near cost to help to get them out to as many people as possible. In fact our Stark Drive City model costs less then many of the non electric bikes sold at major chains here in Sweden.
However as much as it might sound ridiculous, the starting price of $399 is still to high in my eyes. Early next year we are going to launch a mini version of Stark Drive that weights just over 10kg and is completely foldable including the handlebars for the unbelievable starting price of $299. We will soon launch a site dedicated to sign ups so that people can keep informed about progress.
First however we want to get Stark Drive delivered to our backers. On that note production is going well. We are going to receive word from our factory near the end of august about the concrete shipping dates and as soon as we have this information we are going to pass it on to you. The good news to batch 2 backers and beyond is that we have now resolved our 'growing pains' and production will proceed smoothly from here on in.
Furthermore, we are going to be much more proactive then some of our competition and are opening up a Storage facility in the middle of western Europe which will house the standard models of Stark Drive (no customization) and for those that order a standard unit, they will have their bike within a week. the goal is to cut the standard 60-90 day delivery time our competition has to no more then 7 days.
Thank you for your patience and support.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
We are super pleased to have packaged and shipped the first Stark Drive unit to a lucky backer in Singapore. It was shipped via air freight and will arrive to the backer early next week. They have told us that they will be conducting an independent review and posting to all the major forms of social media on receipt.
Meanwhile production of Batch 1 is ongoing with no hiccups and we will be shipping approximately end of August. We have also started receiving quotes for shipping costs and to our surprise costs of air shipping to India (right next to China) is over 500 USD per unit which is unfortunately not going to work for us. We will keep working to find a better alternative. We are also excited to be near a solution which would see stock Stark Drive units warehoused in Europe and in the future USA in order to cut down on delivery times significantly. More on that later.
Here you can see our own branded Hub motor, in this case they have upgraded to 350W.
Stark Drive Team
Stark Drive LLC
Many of you noticed that our facebook page had been disabled for several weeks coinciding with my trip to China. You see while in China, facebook was completely blocked and to get around that I did what many 'foreigners' do and used a VPN. Even with the VPN the connection was glacially slow and it was near impossible to load pages, post updates, etc.
This was the same problem that was happening when I tried to post updates via our website. Recently it was in the news that Apple (spoiler: I own an iPhone) removed all VPN apps from their app store to comply with chinese regulations.
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, like WiFi Hotspots and the Internet. VPNs are most often used by corporations to protect sensitive data or in my case to get around the Great Firewall of China.
On returning to Sweden I tried to sign in and it worked up until i hit a refresh and suddenly I was logged out of Facebook and my account was disabled. I immediately contacted facebook to try to determine why and was given the run around in terms of pages and verifications and such that they like to put you through. They finally asked me to upload a photo of myself.
The process to protect my account took several weeks to resolve and im not sure exactly what Facebook is protecting. Facebook has no access to my bank account, website or anything which i personally would call 'sensitive' but who am i to criticize. What I will criticize is the handling of the procedure to re-verify onesself.
We used to advertise with facebook as well, we wont be doing that at least in the near term. We were spending hundreds of dollars weekly to put the word out about Stark Drive and suprisingly i did receive an actual call from the advertising department at facebook but their answer was that they have no connection to nor anyway to contact the 'verification team' and that i would have to wait and in some cases this could take months.
As a customer, im really shocked at this treatment and that even though they called me and verified it was me signing in that they didnt care enough to do anything about it.
Take a facebook account or 'lack of one' with a grain of salt, they seem to be overloaded with thousands dare i say millions of verifications when someone dares to leave their home city.
More info on the first delivery of Stark Drive coming soon. It was just loaded on the carriers vehicle today.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
As with any new company, we want our final product to be perfect and since we are just starting out the checks and balances that are normally established to ensure qualitative repeatability are simply not present. Sure we have an excellent factory handling the manufacturing whom we have vetted from dozens of other factories but at the end of the day its the final product that counts.
We are delivering a state of the art electric bike to the masses and it may be a bit presumptuous of me to compare our situation to that of my idol Elon Musk but the end result is the same when manufacturing a product, in comparison to say delivering a service such as Facebook. The end result is either right or not and if its not, then its not going out and that was the decision i was forced to make which ended up delaying production some weeks.
Although we do not have a final date right now, the target date for sending out the first bach is end of August.
That being said, I'm excited to announce that our EVT Model Stark Drive is exactly as we have wanted it from the beginning and one luck backer is going to be receiving it via air shipping in the coming days. In order to generate some positive energy after the hindrances that have delayed the full scale manufacturing Stark Drive will be shipping out to someone that agrees to blog, tweet, post, instagram, and every other form of social media buzz generation there is so that we can get the word out that Stark Drive is here to stay. Gone are the days of high priced electric bikes and overpriced sustainable transportation solutions. Stark Drive stands for transportation equality and no matter what walk of life or what country, if you have $399 USD you can join the electric bike revolution.
We are not stopping there. Next year, we will be launching Stark Drive mini, which looks similar to other products our mates (Sondors Fold, Mate.bike) have developed for the unbelievable starting price of $299.
Some might have thought it was 'goodbye' when our project was cancelled but we here at Stark Drive like to say 'Hello'.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
Hello Again Backers,
We wanted to get the word out our fat tire bike as soon as we heard from our manufacturing partners. Note that we never initially intended to offer a fat tire variant for Stark Drive but several people emailed us and asked us if it was possible so we went to our partners in China and they agreed that they could do it but it would require that we would have to bring into production a mould that had not been used since the creation of this style of bike.
Mate.bike claims that they created their bike when in fact they just painted their logo on an existing mould that has been available for years. We had posted about this earlier but here is further evidence. Note the date on this drawing for the same style bike at the bottom of this image. Its circa 2011 which is exactly when this style of bike was created. We at Stark Drive never claimed to have created this bike, our main and only goal has been price and since this bike has been around so long we have managed to get the best pricing in the world for any electric bike (folding or otherwise) bar none. In fact, Mate.bike had posted comments on their indigogo pages libeling us (the reason for our ongoing lawsuit in Denmark against Mate) stating that our bikes selling price was less expensive then what they pay to purchase their bikes.
This is more then likely 100% correct.
This is why we at Stark Drive don't consider Mate a competitor, they will disappear once we start shipping enmasse to our customers around the world as word will spread about how one can get an electric bike more fully equipped then the one Mate.bike is offering for about half the price.
Next year we are going to be offering the same bike as Mate sells now for 1/3 the price starting at $299.
Without you backers that helped us during our relaunch none of this would have been possible so we want to send out an extra special THANK YOU to everyone out there that believed in us and helped us during our relaunch. We also want to thank our web developer mediagate.com that had originally reached out to us during our indiegogo campaign wanting to be a part of our team and really stepped up to the plate and showed what an excellent web development company they were with the new starkdrive.bike website.
Stark Drive Team
Stark Drive LLC
We just wanted to share with you this latest update in regards to our cooperation with the our manufacturing facilities as well as to update you on the status of production. We are currently nearing $500.000 US in backing (some backers have chosen to purchase from us directly instead of going through the website) which means that there are hundreds of people that will now have access to ultra affordable electric bike technology. We continue to offer demos of our bike if you happen to be in Stockholm, Sweden.
Manufacturing is ongoing however due to the environmental regulations (which have affected other projects as well such as STRØM whom also launched on Indiegogo, see their latest update) we are about a further 3 weeks behind in our production schedule. We take our commitment to delivery very seriously at Stark Drive.
That being said, we are currently working out the final details in providing all Batch 1 Backers (orders placed before June 6) Air Shipping at no additional charge. This will cut 3-4 weeks from delivery times and bring us back on track in regards to our original delivery time frame. More details on FREE air shipping coming in subsequent updates. There are no issues for Batch 2 Backers and they are still being produced according to schedule.
Its critical that you have all the correct information on your account including Address, and Phone Number. The carrier needs to have this information to ensure that your delivery makes it to you and to avoid any unexpected situations where there is some miscommunication when making delivery attempts. In order to update your information log into your account here at the bottom of our homepage:
You will be asked to log in, if you can not remember your password you can send a password reset request there. If you are still having trouble gaining access to your account please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Stockholm with ♡
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
Further to the vein of the eye opening experience of how China is at the forefront of inner city transportation solutions is a short writeup on my experience of what i saw when i was there. Unlike destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia, or even Singapore, the Chinese have embraced emission free transportation solutions in the inner cities. I noticed this in Beijing, Shanghai and several other cities in China.
The main word here is Electric, one of the main ideologies of Stark Drive. You do not see these loud whining motorcycle engines driving everywhere worsening the air quality for both pedestrians and commuters alike. So long as you have a reliable grid from which to draw power, there is no hinderance from embracing the electric transportation revolution.
Historically it was energy density which was the primary hindrance in the mass adoption of electric driven transport. Its a well established fact that petrol has a very high energy density with most estimating that petrol is 100x as energy dense as the latest lithium ion battery packs. However due to the popularity of the electric transport revolution as championed by my personal idol Mr. Elon Musk, great strides are being made to densify and improve battery technology with some estimating that by 2045 they will be on par. In order for change to happen there has to be teh desire and will to make change happen. Without Mr. Musk, OPEC and other Oil and Gas producers would have us by our figurative cojones but due to the change initiated by a futurist, they are even worried
Furthermore, for those that could not afford to obtain a battery driven moped or electric bike the Chinese have a fantastic solution for standard non electric bikes that are literally on every street corner. You simply walk up to one, scan a code and it verifies the bike from the cloud and unlocks the securing mechanism on the bike. you then take it to your destination and once done, scan one more time to lock it. This literally costs pennies.
Here in stockholm we have something similar called City Bike however the downside is that you pay a yearly fee, not a per use fee which could either be a good or bad thing depending on your level of usage. Further you must pick up and and leave the bikes at designated locations as the securing mechanism is not on the bike itself but rather in attaching the front of the bike to a rack which then locks. Archaic by any standard especially when everyone has smart phones now. On top of this, i would guess that if these bikes are made locally, they actually cost more then our base model Stark Drive which is electric and since these have to go to a designated rack, why not have it charge at the same time? The entire infrastructure is already in Stockholm to electrify all bike transport.
And here below you have something very common and not not commonly accepted or even legal in most western countries. I have seen these electric mopeds with up to 5 people on them in China. In terms of cost/km for transport, they are the most economical in the world, compare this to a vehicle or airplane and the amount of weight/energy units used to transport someone from A to B.
The design leads itself to being inherently safer then a typical petrol motorcycle as the center of weight is concentrated towards the battery pack which is in the base of the moped similar to the design of a Tesla.
Photos of the various companies competing in the non motor driven bike sharing services in the city.
Literally at every bus stop you will find these bikes. Its a great way to promote a healthier lifestyle and save time as well instead of having to wait for a bus.
More with our manufacturer (including a quasi interview) coming in future updates.
From Stockholm with ♡
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
We are pleased to announce that due to our fantastic relationship with Paypal and the progress we have made with the manufacturing of Stark Drive, we have been granted access to their lay-a-way program which lets you take up to 6 months to pay for Stark Drive.
The program is open to anyone in the US and the checkout procedure is exactly the same as before except that if you choose, you can pick a 6 month to pay option giving you the freedom to enjoy the benefits of the worlds most affordable electric bike today and take up to 6 months to pay.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
We just wanted to post a further clarification on the state of First Kickstarter, and then Indiegogo as to what has happened with our dream to get Stark Drive - The Most Affordable Electric Bike in the world out to everyone that has ever dreamed about owning an electric bike.
We originally launched on Kickstarter on November 1st. We were very green to crowdfunding and did everything wrong. We realized just how wrong after about a week on Kickstarter and having raised only about 17K US. We were at that point contacted by Indiegogo and they were very interested in us bringing over our project to their website, especially with their recent success of a similar project: Mate.bike.
They promised to assign us a representative that would help us at every step of the way if we agreed to cancel our launch and relaunch on their platform. That is one major difference between KS and Indie due to what i believe notoriety of the two websites in the internet sphere. Kickstarter has a much broader user base and from what I have been lead to believe much more traffic.
We accepted the offer and then we were set out on a path of success with hundreds of pages of guides that were sent to us about how to launch a campaign, generate buzz, interest from publishers and online influencers etc.
We on our relaunch which was February 15th 2017, we had quite a different experience in our launch having achieved backer support of approximately 285.000 USD before out campaign was put under 'review' by the Trust and Safety Team at indiegogo.
Here is a very important point i want to make in regards to being put 'Under Review' and 'Suspended'.
Stark Drive Electric bike has to the date of this blog update, NEVER been suspended from Indiegogo. We have however been 'Under Review' for a very long period of time. I don't believe any actual 'reviewing' is actually going on.
To see the difference refer to the image at the top of this blog post. Titan Note, another Swedish project, has clearly been suspended from Indiegogo, and other crowdfunding sites, however Stark Drive, has never been suspended anywhere.
Some websites has stated 'Suspended' or 'Cancelled' and while i would agree the end effect is the same, the actual status of our project is still 'Under Review'.
Perhaps it will still be 'Under Review' when the first bach ships early august to our awaiting backers.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.