A Japanese startup run by a former engineer for Toyota and Suzuki is launching a small electric car that can float during flooding caused by tsunamis and typhoons.
Hideo Tsurumaki, CEO of Fomm Corp., designed the car in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people in Japan, including many who died while stuck in traffic, The Times of London reported last week.
At least 30 people have died in their cars during typhoons in the past two months, the newspaper said.
The Fomm One, slated to go on sale in Japan next spring, is a semiamphibious four-seater with turbine blades in its wheels that allow it to move 2 mph in water. It has a 100-mile battery range and a top speed on dry roads of 50 mph.
The car, unveiled in prototype form at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, is expected to cost about $20,300 (¥2.2 million). The company said it has gotten about 1,600 orders in Thailand, which often experiences widespread flooding.