We're not sure how you can call the Meguru a car, but that's exactly how it's being pimped in its native Japan. More accurately, though, it's probably best described as a battery-powered, motorized rickshaw that uses a couple of materials rarely used in vehicle manufacturing.
Bamboo was used to construct the floors, while the doors are actually fan-shaped Japanese paper. Sure, that sounds like something grade school kids tasked to "beautify" a rickshaw would do, but the electric trike (okay, car) was actually manufactured jointly by real companies, Yodogawa Group and Kinki Knives Industries Corporation.
The Meguru's body is made from iron and coated with lacquer for a strange, antique-like finish. It can plug into the mains to top up power, with a two-hour full charge giving it enough juice to run up to around 25 miles. Top speed is a blistering (okay, not really) 25 mph, which should be good for driving around nearby spots.
Its makers are looking to market it at more traditional cities like Kyoto and Nara, where people aren't likely to beat you up when you arrive at the parking lot in one. The Japanese government has apparently approved it as a road vehicle too, though I think it will be targeted as a short-distance passenger utility ride. Since, let's face it, it's a glorified rickshaw.
Pricing for the Meguru is being pegged at the equivalent of $10,000.
[via Japan Trends]