We have all tried to park our cars in spaces that were too small — but wouldn’t it be easier if we could just get out, fold up our car and place it in a gap that no other vehicle could fit? That is exactly what a group of engineers at Hiriko Driving Mobility have made possible with the Hiriko Citycar. Developed for urban driving, this innovative little piece of machinery will make its public debut in Europe next week – and if all goes well it could hit city streets as soon as 2013!
Originally dreamt up by Boston’s MIT-Media lab, the idea of a fold-able EV was passed around before it was developed by a consortium of seven small Basque firms under the name Hiriko Driving Mobility (Hiriko is the Basque word for ‘urban’). The car will be shown to European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso next week and it is hoped that by mid-2013, they will be hitting the streets of Europe in a bid to cut pollution and reduce road-rage.
The Hiriko works very much like a child’s collapsible stroller in that it can easily be folded for storage/parking. Of course as it is quite small, the EV is only a two-seater, but it is able to run for an impressive 75 miles without needing a recharge. Also, it’s designed for urban driving so the chances of it being capable of 70mph+ are negligible. However, city councils are hoping the EV will be used like public bicycle fleets, where citizens can rent them for the day. Alternatively, one could purchase a vehicle for 12,500 euros (just over $16,000).
Speaking to the AFP, consortium spokesman Gorka Espiau said of the project that “European ideas usually are developed in the United States. This time an American idea is being made in Europe.”