Aside from the natural concerns of balancing and falling off, there are much more serious concerns. Namely: “How do I know that the product is not going to explode, melt, or catch fire when I’m charging it?”
Indeed, there are several mishaps lately, related to the charging mechanism in these hoverboards. To understand why, it helps to have some background understanding of the product.
There are over 20 factories in China that produce these things. Some are reputable, plus some are not. When you order away from eBay, Amazon, or Alibaba, it is possible buying from a re-seller who imports them. Maybe they’re buying a quality product, or maybe they’re buying from the lowest bidder to earn more profit around the turnaround. In other words, it’s actually a gamble. When someone buys a new product from Amazon, the very last thing on their mind is burning your kitchen down, but it is worth taking into consideration. In fact, it has happened to at least two people in england within the last 6 months. So, step one is to buy from a reputable source that doesn’t use cheap electronics on the interior, especially the batteries and charging mechanism.
“These Ain’t Your Momma’s Batteries”
Hoverboards are powered by the newest generation of Lithium-Polimer, or “Li-Po” rechargeable batteries.
For all those new to Li-Po batteries, they may be different from previous battery technologies in this they maintain a nearly full charge right up until they are almost fully depleted, and they are empty quickly. They produce a lot of power, and are prone to thermal runaway (meltdown) when overly depleted, so in addition to buying a quality product, we have a few more words of caution we would like to share with you.
First, because of this steep drop-off in power in the event the battery gets low, you will need to stop riding the board if the battery alarm starts. Although you can continue to ride it as a result of constant voltage, doing so could reduce your long term battery life. If you still deplete the battery for just a minute or two longer, it is possible to force it to a degree from which it cannot recover, and it will no longer accept a charge in any respect. In this case, the battery is susceptible to get very hot and perhaps damage other internal components. So, the moral from the story is: stop riding if the low battery alarm (continuous beeping) starts.
Secondly, unlike other kinds of batteries, it is not recommended to keep a li-po battery having a full charge, simply because this will also reduce the long-term battery life. The good news this is that our engineers have thought of this, and our chargers make use of a simple red-light/green-light charging system. In the event the charger turns green, it is optimally charged for safety, life of the battery, and a sufficient battery duration. The term of caution here is that you should unplug the charger when it turns green so that you don’t continue to charge your board. The process COULD, yep, you got it, reduce the battery. There is circuitry available to prevent this, however it is always a good practice to unplug a li-po battery whenever it’s not charging, in case that circuitry fails. Use the protection as a backup, much less your going-in plan.