Brad Bonk has always had a knack for building unique vehicles such as motorcycles and hot rods. With this creative talent, he created a stand-up vertical rider vehicle designed for golf courses, but after testing it with his brother, Allen Bonk, they saw opportunities to use it for more applications. All of the impressive features and capabilities of the technology led to the two brothers’ innovation of LyteHorse.
“After taking this machine out on the golf course, Brad and I decided to hook it up to my SUV to see if it could pull it—this crazy little scooter thing dragged a 5,000 lb SUV around the parking lot!” Allen exclaims.
LyteHorse has since evolved into a rugged, vertical rider electric performance vehicle. With four independent hub motors, it’s waterproof to two ft and it has 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive capabilities that provide maximum stability and traction, allowing access to places that traditional vehicles can’t navigate.
“The form factor of LyteHorse reimagines the power and utility of the ridden horse,” Allen Bonk explains. “It’s built with future-proof materials, technology, and performance that will change the way electric mobility can be applied.”
Just as it pulled Allen’s SUV around the parking lot, LyteHorse can pull 10x its weight on flat terrain and it can carry 800 lbs including riders. Fast and easy to deploy, it requires zero maintenance and there is no training required to learn how to use it.
With applications for use in warehouses, manufacturing, first responders, disaster recovery, and consumer recreation, a major area that Allen saw as an opportunity was in law enforcement and the military. “LyteHorse gives riders a higher vantage point that allows them to easily step on and off and it can be used on sidewalks and stairs,” Allen shares. “Previously, the closest option to this was horses, but they are extremely expensive to train and maintain and slow to deploy.”
Standing on the deck of a LyteHorse gives riders well over 7 ft of total height advantage giving them a perspective that they do not currently have. Because law enforcement officers won’t be enclosed in the metal and glass of a car, it gives them the unique opportunity to connect with their communities in ways not previously experienced.
For use in the military, LyteHorse is silent and makes no sound at all. The agile and nimble all- wheel drive vehicle achieves 40 miles per hour and zero emissions, providing many use-cases from the battlefield to towing supplies and extricating injured soldiers.
The LyteHorse holds 4 Lytepacks (battery packs) that give users approximately an 80 to 100- mile range and there are extended range battery options as well. With the array of customization options, some accessories allow storing even more LytePacks, mounting accessories, gear racks, protection shields, and more.
“We’ve made it modular in design, with all accessories fitting into a universal mounting system,” Allen explains. “There are so many ways to use the machine, and it’s as easy as a 20-second change out to transform the LyteHorse for a different use.”
Through the website, people interested in the machine can reserve their LyteHorse, and the team expects to see an aggressive number of units secured and will build on demand. They completed a small capital raise in November of 2020 after qualifying for the Saskatchewan Startup Incentive (STSI), and they are expanding into the US market with their primary focus being on the government orders and setting up a distribution network. “We’ve been receiving interest from everywhere, even places like Russia,” Allen says.
The LyteHorse team plans to be a very large North American-based organization, and they are manufacturing in Regina and the state of Michigan. Purposely keeping under the radar since they knew they would be inundated, the LyteHorse team will be busy building all of their custom designed batteries in Saskatchewan and deploying their plans for global demand of their machines. “Regina is going to be our team headquarters for manufacturing and R&D,” Allen says. “We’ve got all of the resources that we need to ensure we meet the design specs of the machine right here in Saskatchewan.”
Co-Founders: Allen Bonk, Brad Bonk
Incorporation Date: January 2018