Able to travel up to 7.4 miles on a fully charged battery, the WalkCar, a concept design by Japanese inventor, Kuniako Sato, simply fits into your bag and is perfect for on-the-go. Aesthetically pleasing, the new transportation model has the slim-line design of a modern day laptop and could end in-city parking fees.
Of the array of interesting and truly pioneering innovations we have featured here at Total World Energy, the WalkCar certainly has to be up there amongst the greats. Taking the title of the world’s smallest electric car, the new Japanese design holds the potential to fill the gap between that journey to the bus stop, train station or commute to work – a distance that is perhaps, too far to walk, inconvenient to take a bicycle and not cost efficient to be taking a taxi each day.
Studying electric car motor control systems and engineering, it seems that 26-year old Kuniako Sato, has come up with a rather ingenious and viable solution. Setting up Tokyo-based Cocoa Motors in 2013, Sato developed the inventive concept into a working prototype.
Sato told Reuters: “I thought, ‘what if we could just carry our transportation in our bags, wouldn’t that mean we’d always have our transportation with us to ride on?’ and my friend asked me to make one, since I was doing my masters in engineering specifically on electric car motor control systems.
“Maybe I just see it that way, but it seems to me that the U.S. is always the one which invents new products and Japan is the one which takes those products and improves on them to make a better version of it. But here in this case, the WalkCar is a totally new product I have started from scratch. So I also I want to show the world that Japan can also be innovative,” Sato explained.
Powered by a lithium battery and weighing up to 6.6lbs, depending on the indoor or outdoor version, Sato developed a transporter that is easy to ride with top speeds reaching 6.2mph. Taking just three hours to fully charge, the WalkCar can travel up to 7.4 miles.
Designed to conveniently fit into your bag or under your arm, you could be easily forgiven for mistaking the WalkCar as a laptop if it were not for its four small wheels. Simple to manoeuvre, you stand on it to make it go and step off to make it stop – to steer, the rider simply shifts their weight.
Cocoa Motors said: “WalkCar is the world’s smallest electric car that can be mobile and put in a bag. Just turn the body in the direction you want to go, you can move freely.”
Able to withstand loads up to 120kg, the WalkCar has been designed to provide enough power to help push wheelchairs up an incline or help with the removal of heavy goods by pushing a trolley.
Available to pre-order this autumn, the WalkCar will set you back an estimated $800 – so for the price of a laptop, you may never have to pay for a parking space again, a rather tempting investment if you live in a bustling city. Shipping is expected to commence next spring on crowd-funding website, Kickstarter.
Highly anticipated, the WalkCar seems a more viable, sturdy and somewhat trustworthy option compared to the Segway or the Toyota Winglet which provide a much bulkier alternative. Even the Lexus Hoverboard, shown earlier this year, which relies on superconductors and magnets is a somewhat unsteady option with liquid nitrogen steam flowing out as you ‘hover.’
So, the world’s first car in a bag – the world’s smallest electric car – could mean that you never need to worry about parking again – a perfect solution to the world’s busiest cities, the WalkCar is a highly innovative and emission-free concept indeed.