Photo Essay: Taking Tokyo By Swarm

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  • 26 IEEE Spectrum | June 2004 | NA

  • Taking Tokyo By SwarmAs a child, did you ever hold a toy car and fantasize aboutgetting behind its steering wheel? You can now. Well, sort of.For a couple of years, toy giant Takara Co. in Tokyo has beenproducing adult-size versions of its popular Choro-Q toy cars.So far, about 500 of the cars have been soldenough to makethe subsidiary that builds the cars, Choro-Q Motors Co., Japansbiggest seller of pure-electric vehicles to general consumers. Thelead-acid-battery cars, called Q-Cars, are charged from a regularoutlet, have an 80-kilometer range, and can go up to 50 kilometersper hour. [For a lineup of Q-Car models (in Japanese), seehttp://www.cqmotors.co.jp/lineup/catalog_f.html.] They sell forabout 1.25 million, or roughly US $11 500, and can be rentedin several Japanese cities for $50 for six hours. To mark the25th anniversary of the toy cars, the company gatheredQ-Cars on 30 March, as shown, for a parade through thestreets of Tokyo. A race is planned for later this year.

    Photograph by Yuriko Nakao/Reuters/Corbis

    June 2004 | IEEE Spectrum | NA 27

    Index: CCC: 0-7803-5957-7/00/$10.00 2000 IEEEccc: 0-7803-5957-7/00/$10.00 2000 IEEEcce: 0-7803-5957-7/00/$10.00 2000 IEEEindex: INDEX: ind: footer1: 0-7803-8367-2/04/$20.00 2004 IEEE01: 302: 403: 504: 605: 706: 807: 908: 1009: 1110: 47

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