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A Japanese Electric Car That Can Float on Water Is Coming to Vietnam

Can the vehicle combat Saigon's water accumulation problem?

Inspired by Japan's 2011 tsunami, the Fomm Concept One is an electric car which uses a water propulsion system that enables the vehicle to float on the surface of water. The car is manufactured by Japanese venture company Fomm Corporation with production supported by three other enterprises: Funai Electric Co., the famous Japanese electronics manufacturer for brands such as Philips, Sanyo and Kodak; Trinex Assets Co., a Thailand-based real estate company; and Japan's consumer electronics retailer Yamada Denki.

According to a report on Automotive News, the partners want to bring the car to Japan and Southeast Asian countries that are prone to flooding such as Singapore, Laos, Vietnam and some parts of the Middle East. Production will be based in Bangkok.

The car can drive 160 kilometers with a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour on a single charge. It has replaceable batteries and a heat-storage system customized for the environment of Southeast Asian countries. The floating function belongs to the car's anti-flooding emergency feature. The Fomm Corporation website claims that the car is not yet an amphibious vehicle and maintenance is required after the floating function is used.   

The vehicle is the brainchild of former Toyota engineer Hideo Tsurumaki, who witnessed the 2011 tsunami in Japan that swept away cars in the country's northeast coast. The incident prompted Tsurumaki to create a vehicle that can float and resist strong currents. 

[Photo via Car Passion]

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