We first discovered the WalkCar – a stand-on, electric-powered scooter that looks like a laptop with four wheels attached – back in 2015, when Cocoa Motors first debuted its intriguing car alternative. After five years of promises and teases, it looks like the WalkCar is finally available for sale, for 198,000 yen, which converts to about £1,480.
Unlike an electric scooter that puts all of the acceleration and braking controls on the handlebars, the WalkCar works more like the two-wheeled hoverboards that were all the rage a while ago, minus the balancing part and, hopefully, the terrifying random fires. Riders accelerate, brake, and steer by shifting their body weight forward and back, and side to side, while riding on the WalkCar.
Weighing in at around 6.4 pounds (2.9 kilograms) the WalkCar can hit speeds of 6.2 mph (10 km/h) in normal mode, or up to 10 mph (16 km/h) in its sport mode, which, understandably, reduces its range from 4.3 miles (7 km) down to about 3.1 miles (5 km). However, according to the Cocoa Motors website, all testing was done with a rider who weighed 132 pounds (60 kg). The company doesn’t specify what the weight limit for the WalkCar is, but anyone heavier than the test rider can probably expect to see reduced range.
If you’re on the hunt for an alternative to a car for your daily commute, £1,480 is a bit pricey, given you can get alternatives like the excellent Unagi scooter for £1,070 and with a promised range upwards of 16 miles in ideal conditions. Even half of that is twice as far as the WalkCar can run before it needs a charge. Where the WalkCar appears to outperform everything else, however, is portability. You can hop off it at a moment’s notice and then easily stash it in any bag or backpack that can accommodate a laptop.
It might be the most compact personal mobility device we’ve ever seen, with a footprint even smaller than skateboards or inline skates. The only thing that possibly bests it are those wheeled Heelys shoes, but you’re probably not 10 years old any more.
Featured image: Cocoa Motors (YouTube)