Tokyo-based Cocoa Motors refers to its forthcoming WalkCar personal transporter as "the world's smallest car," and a "laptop-sized super car," and are you thinking what I'm thinking? Was something lost in translation there? Because, motorized or not, the 13" WalkCar looks like one of the roll-y scooters me and my friend Cornelius used to have butt races on in gym class. Even at 8 years old we knew better than to try to call it a car.
Watching the video of the WalkCar on the move makes me slightly more impressed with it, but more in terms of handling and maneuverability than its resemblance to a car. Like many electric scooters, the WalkCar steers and accelerates in response to its rider's body position and shifting of weight. Lean forward to speed up, lean back to slow down, shift right or left to turn, and step off to stop. Step off to stop. Wonder if the learning curve on that technique is similar to the one for cyclists practicing with clip-in shoes for the first time.
Despite the lofty comparisons to a proper automobile, WalkCar's primary selling points its compactness and portability. Creator Kuniaki Sato specifically wanted a commuter-mobile that would fit in his bag when he wasn't using it, and in addition to having the dimensional profile to do that, the WalkCar's carbon body reduces its weight to just over 6 pounds. At full speed the transporter reaches around 10 MPH, and a 60-minute charge will return a 60-minute drive time.
Available for pre-order at printing, WalkCars are expected to start shipping in September 2017.
Muchas danke to Manny (welcome back, dude!) for the Dude Product Tip.