NSK and WHILL, Inc. Enter Capital Alliance Collaborating to Create a Market for Next-Generation Personal Electric Vehicles

NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Toshihiro Uchiyama) today announced that it has entered a capital alliance with WHILL, Inc. (Headquarters: San Carlos, California, USA; CEO: Satoshi Sugie).


As populations continue to age rapidly around the world, the demand for personal care applications such as personal mobility solutions to support versatile, safe, and comfortable mobility is expected to expand over the next decade.


To capture this demand, WHILL is building products that redefine the perception of wheelchairs and power mobility devices and their limitations through innovative design and advanced technology. WHILL’s corporate mission is to create the world’s most innovative and empowering personal electric vehicles (EVs), regardless of a user’s age and physical condition.


NSK has decided to support WHILL’s goal to push the boundaries of personal transportation for everyone, by entering into a capital alliance. The alliance will bring together NSK’s elemental component technology and mechatronics technology with WHILL’s commitment to building intelligent personal EVs that empower users. As the first step, NSK will provide its reliable, smooth-rotating bearings for use in WHILL’s patented Omni-wheels to enable lightweight movement, which is a unique feature of WHILL’s personal EVs. Going forward, WHILL and NSK will collaborate to provide customers with more advanced and appealing user features.


The agreement is expected to help drive the widespread adoption of intelligent personal EVs. The alliance will make the most of NSK’s unique contribution to safer, smoother electric vehicle driving through its MOTION & CONTROL™ technology.

About NSK

After being the first company in Japan to successfully develop and produce bearings in 1916, NSK continued to display a pioneering spirit by developing a variety of revolutionary technologies and products. NSK products have been contributing to the development of industry and helping to conserve the environment for a century.


Now, for the occasion of its 100th anniversary, NSK has established NSK Vision 2026―”Setting the Future in Motion” to guide its progress over the next 10 years. As part of this vision, NSK is committed to proposing innovative ideas to society by seeing beyond the view of a parts manufacturer and thinking about technology, products, functions, and services from the customer’s point of view.


NSK is continuously combining its technology and products cultivated as the world’s leading bearing maker with unique technologies and ideas from that of varying entities, such as universities, local governments, and venture companies in Japan and throughout the world in an effort to uncover seeds for new businesses through open innovation. As a part of this activity, NSK is collaborating with WHILL, a venture company expected to grow significantly in the next 10 years, to contribute to the creation and development of new markets. In so doing, NSK also expects to revitalize its own internal organization.


About WHILL, Inc.

Since its founding in 2013, WHILL’s mission is to transform today’s antiquated power wheelchair and scooter experiences into a new kind of empowering device, an intelligent personal electric vehicle (EV). WHILL is reinventing the personal mobility industry with an intelligent personal EV that focuses on an approachable and aesthetically pleasing powered vehicle that boosts confidence and pushes the boundaries of personal transportation. Headquartered in the Bay Area in the United States with offices in Tokyo and Taiwan, WHILL is focused on enabling everyone to explore the world in comfort and style.


Please direct all inquiries regarding this article to:

Public Relations Department, CSR Division Headquarters, NSK Ltd.
Tel: +81-3-3779-7053


PR representative: Satoko Sugaya
Tel: +81-80-2584-1164

04/17 740-01454-MKT-11