57 Business Consortium Creates Fair-Weather EV

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The famous Japanese monozukuri (craftsmanship, sometimes “the process of continually making something better”) is going down the drain. It took the combined efforts of “a consortium of 57 small businesses in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture,” reports The Nikkei [sub] before they could “unveil a prototype one-seater electric car that can travel 100km between charges.”

According the The Nikkei, the vehicle has a go-kart-like chassis with strap-on lithium ion batteries and control circuits. “The system as a whole and the control circuits were designed by the consortium under guidance from experts.”

Even The Nikkei can’t help it and captions their depiction of the electric go-cart with a snide “Just hope it doesn’t rain.” Come on, what do you expect from a committee of 57? A Heinz-Mobile, probably.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Da Coyote Da Coyote on Aug 26, 2011

    Ah, the results of the latest Microsoft research project, eh?

  • Eldard Eldard on Aug 26, 2011

    All Hail Mega Corporations!!!

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Aug 28, 2011

    Actually, I can see there being a market for these, if there are any environmentally sensitive go kart track operators.

  • CRConrad CRConrad on Aug 29, 2011

    To correct the original source, that contraption doesn't "have a go-kart-like chassis"; it IS a go-kart. (And if they wanted it to go farther on the same amount of battery juice, they could _at least_ have swapped the designed-for-racing wide-but-tiny high-grip slicks for lighter-rolling bicycle wheels!)