Walk Car Sparks Interest of Local Students

Ajallade Hennis , Contributing Writer

Named the smallest electric vehicle in the world, the Walk Car is creating a buzz around the world. Originally created by Cocoa Motors in Japan, the Walk Car is a transportation similar to the popular “Hoverboards” that has been a sensation all over the world. It is a lightweight, aluminum board, the size of a laptop that can carry anyone or anything up to 265 pounds according to Business Insider. It has a lithium rechargeable battery that lasts up to 7.4 miles on a full charge, which it takes three hours for it to fully charge. The battery powers the transporting device while it automatically moves as soon as you step on it. It moves in any direction just by leaning in that direction you desire, and it stops as soon as you just easily step off of it.

The device was designed so that it can fit in a backpack, or any other type of transportable bag and it has been mentioned and described by Business Insider as a “small, four-wheeled electric skateboard meets a Segway”. It tops out at a speed of 6.2 miles per hour, and there are two versions of the device: an indoor version, and outdoor version. The indoor version weighs in at 4.4 pounds, while the outdoor version weighs in at 6.6 pounds. Kuniako Saito, an engineer who led the team at Cocoa Motors to create the Walk Car, described the device as a “car in a bag”, as it is small and convenient to carry around.

The product was originally targeted for elderly people as it can help them get around easier and push wheelchairs up hills. However, this product has gained popularity among people of all ages including children, and teenagers. Many students at Black Hills State University ride scooters, motorized scooters, skateboards, and motorized skateboards around campus frequently, as it’s much easier to get around campus.

Darian Warford, a student at BHSU uses a scooter to get around campus.

“When I first heard about the Walk Car, I was ecstatic. Being a football player, I’m exhausted from football and classes, so I use a scooter because it’s less physical stress on my body. But when the Walk Car becomes available for purchase, I plan on buying one as getting around campus and the city of Spearfish so much easier,” Warford said.

The Walk Car also has many advantages as opposed to the Hoverboards that are constantly made and sold around the world. The average weight of a Hoverboard is 22 pounds, according to multiple websites that sell them. So the Walk Car is lighter in weight and smaller in size. With it being the size of a laptop, you can fit in a backpack, while the average size of a Hoverboard has a length of 22 inches, 7.5 inches in width, with 7 inches in height, and cannot fit in most bags.

Cocoa Motors made the Walk Car available for pre-order on their website in October. The device is expected to be somewhat pricey at a cost of $1,280 in the United States. It is predicted to be a huge hit in Japan, and the U.S. also has high expectations for it. The company says they will ship Walk Cars beginning September 2017 to 13 countries across Asia-Pacific, North America, and Europe, with availability expanding to include more countries depending on the business’ success.