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Inventors develop ‘transformer’ vehicle that can travel seamlessly between land and sea: ‘Virtually unsinkable’

“[We set out to] build a car that could drive on the freeway but also keep up with a boat on the water.”

"[We set out to] build a car that could drive on the freeway but also keep up with a boat on the water."

Photo Credit: WaterCar

No one needs a car that doubles as a boat, but you’ll have a hard time finding anyone who doesn’t want to take this superhero vehicle for a spin.

The WaterCar-EV is, yes, an electric vehicle. It also offers “hassle-free hybrid boating,” according to the WaterCar website

WaterCar’s latest amphibious vehicle is a transformer, morphing from a “neighborhood electric vehicle” into a 17-foot boat with the push of a button. The aluminum hull is filled with foam — making it “virtually unsinkable” — and there’s a touchscreen, marine-grade electronics, and a 115-horsepower outboard motor. 

“The WaterCar-EV frees you from roads and maps, allowing you to travel seamlessly between land and sea. Adventure and possibility are at your disposal,” the site proclaims. “Experience true freedom with the WaterCar-EV.”

There’s a waitlist of three to four months to buy one, but the $5,000 deposit is fully refundable. (Cheer up. The waitlist for the WaterCar Humvee is 18-24 months.)

The total outlay is surely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, though there are no recent reports about the WaterCar-EV or its price. In 2014, the Chicago Tribune reported each WaterCar Panther — the original commercial model — cost $135,000.

WaterCar is not the first to produce an amphibious vehicle, as the Amphicar Model 770 was launched in the 1960s, but it could be the first to realize widespread success.

Founder Dave March, the former owner of California auto repair shop Fountain Valley Bodyworks, and an avid boater, according to the Tribune, set out to “build a car that could drive on the freeway but also keep up with a boat on the water.”

“We want to be the Henry Ford of amphibious cars,” March told the Tribune.

WaterCar markets itself as “the world leader in advanced amphibious technology” since 1999 and remains “dedicated to revolutionizing the recreational boating experience.” It touts making boating, even for beginners, more accessible and says the WaterCar eliminates the logistical problems associated with owning a boat.

The question is whether it can join other recent marvels, including flying taxis and hydrofoil electric ferries, in transforming travel — and the world around us.

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