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iPad-Sized Walkcar Electric Scooter Puts the Micro in Micromobility
The wait is over and walking will soon be rendered altogether obsolete: after 5 years in development limbo, what is perhaps the world’s smallest and lightest electric scooter has started deliveries.

iPad-Sized Walkcar Electric Scooter Puts the Micro in Micromobility

Walkcar is as small as an iPad and lighter than any other e-scooter out thereWalkcar is as small as an iPad and lighter than any other e-scooter out thereWalkcar is as small as an iPad and lighter than any other e-scooter out thereWalkcar is as small as an iPad and lighter than any other e-scooter out thereWalkcar is as small as an iPad and lighter than any other e-scooter out thereWalkcar is as small as an iPad and lighter than any other e-scooter out there
Walkcar from Cocoa Motors was first unveiled in 2015, with an update the following year mentioning a possible release for September of that year. It never happened but, as of now, Cocoa Motors is taking orders for and delivering the Walkcar in native country Japan. No word yet if it will ever be made available internationally, but one can only hope.

What makes Walkcar (aka “the car in your bag”) stand out from the multitude of electric offerings for first- and last-mile solutions is that it puts the “micro” in “micromobility.” This thing is no bigger than an iPad and lighter than any other similar product, yet it’s powerful enough to ferry you across that first and last mile of your commute, and even take you up a 10-degree incline.

Not much has changed about the Walkcar in the 5 years since it’s been announced, except for where it matters: the motors. They are now more powerful and reliable, making the e-scooter a decent micromobility solution, albeit not a complete one.

Cocoa Motors says they’re using the world’s smallest in-wheel motors for Walkcar, which could very well be the case. Power level is rated at 260 W continuous or 600 W peak.

The e-scooter comes with two drive modes, Eco and Sport, delivering different speeds and per-charge ranges: Sport mode has a top speed of 16 kph (10 mph) and a range of 5 km (3.1 miles), and Eco delivers a max 10 kph (6.2 mph) and 7 km (4.3 miles) of range.

No bigger than a 13-inch (33-cm) laptop, the Walkcar has four wheels: two fixed front wheels with motors and two trolley-style rear wheels that serve to turn. Braking and throttle are done by means of shifting the body weight, thanks to the four sensors embedded in the upper platform. The rider leans forward to move from a standstill and to accelerate, leans backwards for braking, and sideways for taking turns.

The first video available at the bottom of the page, released last week, shows the Walkcar to be a precise little thing when turning. In other words, it could work just fine in a more crowded urban environment, with pedestrians and / or other electric solutions around.

The body is made of carbon fiber over an aluminum frame, and houses a tiny 68 Wh battery (hence the very low range). Total weight of the e-scooter is of just 2.9 kg (6.4 pounds), which means you can easily carry it, either in hand or even in a handbag. You really can’t do that with any other e-scooter out there.

While range is the biggest downside of this e-scooter-thingy, you can’t expect much more from something this small. The upside, though, is that the Walkcar is quite powerful: not only can it go up small inclines and over curbs, but as shown in the second video below, can also push another (wheeled) object, like a luggage cart or even an occupied wheelchair – including up that same 10-degree incline.

Other features include auto stop function, which brings the e-scooter to a complete halt once the sensors no longer detect the rider’s weight on it, and self-healing paint, which should keep scratches to a minimum. That last part is important, since the rider stands at just 73 mm (3 inches) above the ground, so scratches are bound to happen.

For the time being, Walkcar is only available in Japan for ¥198,000 (approximately $1,844). It’s not uncommon for companies to release products in this market before going international, and considering the kind of attention this tiny e-scooter has generated in the past, it would definitely not be surprising if it was released widely soon after.



 
 
 
 
 

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