In Australia we call them billy carts. The rest of the world has different names for them, but the idea is the same.

In Europe, Hyundai has come up with a design that it says friends or parents and their children can build together.

The “soapbox” (that’s what they call them over there) was developed by engineers and designers from the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre (HMETC) using affordable and easily-available materials.

Intended to promote quality time for customers, families and friends, Hyundai has made the instructions available to download so the billy cart can be built at home.

“In recent months, spending time together as a family has become more valuable to people,” says Hyundai’s Andreas Christoph-Hofmann.

“We wanted to create a fun project that would give families and friends an enjoyable project that brings them together.

“Of course, the Hyundai Soapbox had to stay affordable, so our designers developed it using materials that can be easily found in a local DIY store.”

 

The Hyundai Soapbox was designed just like a regular car.

The trouble is, that in the process, they realised the original idea could not be replicated easily by most people.

So they went back to the drawing board, drawing inspiration for the lines from Hyundai’s 45 EV Concept.

This time designers created a model through 2D sketches and by folding paper to represent the diagonal intersection of surfaces.

This resulted in an angular and geometric look.

But, while they wanted the design to be easy to build, they also wanted the finished product to demonstrate advanced thinking.

So instead of using a conventional steering wheel, they adapted the joystick steering concept from the Prophecy show car.

True to Hyundai’s commitment to eco-friendly mobility solutions, the Soapbox is made primarily from environmentally-friendly materials.

There’s wood, metal rods, and connecting materials such as brackets and screws, with wheels from a wheelbarrow and the control joysticks are screwdrivers.

Though the soapbox is built to accommodate a child, thanks to some clever engineering, it can also support the weight of a full grown adult.

When fully assembled, the billy cart is 1 metre wide and 1.76 metres long.

Its size means it can fit into a regular passenger car, so families can transport it to different locations in search of hills to roll down.

 

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Did anyone mention the words billy cart?

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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