Jan 252012

The tiny Hiriko can fold up so it fits three to a normal parking spot

The tiny Hiriko can fold up so it fits three to a normal parking spot, making it perfect for deploying in a crowded European city. Will you get out of your next car rental through the roof?

The next great electric car may not be from GM, Ford, or even upstarts like Tesla and Coda. The Hiriko (it means “urban car” in Basque) can fold up in small parking spaces, has a 75 mile range on all-electric power, wheels that rotate 360 degrees (for the ultimate tight turn), a cost of $16,210–and it was conceived of by MIT’s Media Lab.

A prototype of Hiriko, which was developed in collaboration with seven automotive suppliers in Spain, is so compact that passengers can only get out by pushing the glass shell open. It’s a good thing the car doesn’t require gas; there isn’t even room for a gas tank. But when folded, three Hiriko vehicles can fit into a single parking space.

MIT’s seven collaborators will all contribute to production of the vehicle, with each one producing different core components (i.e battery system, vehicle chassis, interior, etc). Commercial versions of the vehicle are expected to be ready by 2013.

Read more . . .

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