Is ‘WalkCar’ More Than a Skateboard for Geezers?

Finally, a skateboard for geezers!

This past weekend, a friend sent this video link of a lithium battery-powered portable transporter small enough to fit in a shoulder bag.

Invented by 26-year old Japanese engineer Kuniaki Sato and his team at Cocoa Motors, the “WalkCar” is billed as the world’s smallest electric car. The personal transporter, with a top speed of 6.2 miles per hour, can travel up to 7.4 miles after three hours of charging.

At first glance, all I saw here was a glorified electric skateboard. What’s the big deal? 

After all, last time I was in Shanghai covering the CES Asia, I saw a veritable plethora of personal transporters developed by Segway-wannabe Chinese vendors. 

But then, after about a minute into the WalkCar clip, I realize that this thing has enough power for a WalkCar passenger to carry a heavy load uphill, or push a wheelchair with ease. It would allow an older person with some mobility issues (but a pretty good sense of balance) could take a “walk” in the park, standing up on a WalkCar. 

I admit. It still looks like a niche product. But seeing WalkCar as just another personal transporter misses the point.

To read the rest of this article, visit EBN sister site EE Times.


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