Cars and big cities don’t go together well. Parking is expensive. Free parking is rare. You’re liable to spend more time sitting in traffic jams than it’d take you to ride a bike. Bikes, though, pose their own problems — no one wants to show up to work sweaty, and even bikes can be cumbersome. The next step down is a skateboard, but it can present the same sort of problems, only on a smaller level. Enter electronic options, and most recently the “WalkCar”, a laptop-shaped electric skateboard for urban travel.
WalkCar was made by Kuniako Saito, a 26-year-old Japanese engineer who says his device is easy to ride. To start the WalkCar, simply stand on it. Get off to shut it down. Shift your weight to steer. It is, in that regard, basically a tiny flat Segway. The WalkCar can travel up to nearly seven and a half miles on a charge, and has a top speed a little over 6MPH.
The device’s board is shaped like a laptop, differentiating it from traditional skateboards. Both an indoor and outdoor version exist, the latter of which is a little heavier and more robust to handle outdoor conditions. WalkCar can handle rider weights up to 256lbs. Arguably the best part of the device is its size — given that it is about the size of a large textbook, you can stow it away in a backpack or locker, eliminating the hassle of finding a parking space or bike slot.
WalkCar hails from Cocoa Motors, and it will go up for pre-order in October as part of a Kickstarter funding campaign. It isn’t clear in which regions it will be made available. The price will be approximately $800 USD, and shipping will start next spring. WalkCar does face some stiff competition, though, as it is essentially an electric skateboard and there’s no shortage of them on the market. Check out the timeline below to see some other electric skateboards we’ve covered!