5 questions to David Earle – Lead engineer
David Earle is on a journey. After more than two decades in the mountain bike industry in leading engineering and operational positions at companies like Santa Cruz, Specialized, Bontrager and Yeti – his current ride is electric. David is CAKE’s Lead engineer. And what more could CAKE ask for? They guy is the inventor of 11 patents.
Why did you join CAKE?
CAKE is a company that will help define the future of movement. I want to help with that. And the people at CAKE are a great group of people and my feeling is that they are committed to keeping a good and fun staff on board as they travel on their journey. This is important for success and also important for life.
What’s your view on the market today?
The market is in its infancy. It is obvious that electric vehicles are the future. They are clean quiet and, with improvements in battery technology, sustainable.
Alta Motorcycles is on track for opening the door for electric motorcycles in world class level competition. When they are successful at winning (likely soon) it will bring around the big companies in the industry. They will have their hands full with steering their big ships in a completely new direction… at that point there will be a lot of openings for smaller companies to get in, especially into the niche’s. This is where CAKE will really make its mark.
What will slow progress down or accelerate it dramatically is battery technology. If we can see a 2-10 fold increase in energy density then many things will become possible. Just a 2 fold increase in energy density would mean a current Tesla S could drive 1100 km on a single charge… think about it.
What’s the biggest issues you’ll solve with the launch of CAKE’s first e-motorbike?
The CAKE e-motorbike is like no other production level motorcycle in the world. It exists in a world that there is no support for.
The biggest badest downhill mountain bike parts are not big enough for it and the smallest gas motorcycle parts are too heavy for it.
The biggest challenge is all of the parts that need to bolt on because they don’t exist. We need to design them from scratch and manufacture them ourselves or together with leading suppliers.
Why have you located CAKE’s technical office in Taiwan?
Because engineering talent in Taiwan as well as manufacturing know-how is very high level. Other places in the world could be considered more creative for design engineering, like Sweden for instance, but no place on earth is likely better for manufacturing a vehicle like this. Putting engineering close to manufacturing makes all the sense in the world.
Where is your favourite area for riding your e-bikes?
So far… Gotland, Sweden! I am counting the days until I get to return and do more… especially with these first prototypes on the road. I hope in the future my little farm in California is also one of the best places to ride these vehicles.