|Amazing Japanese Auto Rickshaw|
"This is a true environmentally friendly car," said Nobuyuki Ogura, the chief
executive officer of Yodogawa Group, which built the vehicle in cooperation with
three other small companies in western Japan.
A regular driver's license is required to take the vehicle on the road, but car registration is unnecessary. Devised as part of a project to revitalise small businesses facing economic hardship, the vehicle - which is 2.5 meters (8 ft 2 in) long, 1.2 meters (3 ft 11 in) wide and 1.6 meters (5 ft 3 in) tall - also showcases traditional Japanese crafts.
The body is coated in red lacquer, the floor is filled with recycled bamboo, and the retractable "window" has been carefully crafted in the shape of a Japanese fan using Japanese "washi" paper. All were made by craftsmen in western Japan. The company says it is selling the vehicle for around one million yen ($12,180) while assessing a business plan for mass production.
Even disposing of the car after its usefulness has passed poses no problems.
"We've used all-natural materials, so if you ever decide to get rid of the car,
simply bury it in the ground," Ogura said.
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