Automotive

Hiriko - the fold-up electric two-seater set for 2013

Hiriko - the fold-up electric ...
The Hiriko is an electric car that folds up to reduce in length from 100 down to a mere 60 inches - the width of an ordinary car
The Hiriko is an electric car that folds up to reduce in length from 100 down to a mere 60 inches - the width of an ordinary car
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The Hiriko is 100 inches (2.5 m) in length, but only 60 inches (1.5 m) when folded for parking
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The Hiriko is 100 inches (2.5 m) in length, but only 60 inches (1.5 m) when folded for parking
The car is entirely battery-powered with a single-charge range of 75 miles (120 km)
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The car is entirely battery-powered with a single-charge range of 75 miles (120 km)
Each wheel integrates a motor, steering actuators, suspension and braking
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Each wheel integrates a motor, steering actuators, suspension and braking
Three Hirikos fit into a single parking bay
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Three Hirikos fit into a single parking bay
The car is entirely battery-powered with a single-charge range of 75 miles (120 km)
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The car is entirely battery-powered with a single-charge range of 75 miles (120 km)
A Hiriko out in the wild
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A Hiriko out in the wild
The Hiroko's windshield doubles as the car door
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The Hiroko's windshield doubles as the car door
Each wheel integrates a motor, steering actuators, suspension and braking
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Each wheel integrates a motor, steering actuators, suspension and braking
The Hiriko's windshield doubles as the car door
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The Hiriko's windshield doubles as the car door
The Hiriko's windshield doubles as the car door
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The Hiriko's windshield doubles as the car door
The Hiriko is an evolution of MIT's CityCar project, in collaboration with Denokinn (the Basque Center for Innovation) and a consortium of Spanish business
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The Hiriko is an evolution of MIT's CityCar project, in collaboration with Denokinn (the Basque Center for Innovation) and a consortium of Spanish business
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The Hiriko is an evolution of MIT's CityCar project, in collaboration with Denokinn (the Basque Center for Innovation) and a consortium of Spanish business
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The Hiriko is an evolution of MIT's CityCar project, in collaboration with Denokinn (the Basque Center for Innovation) and a consortium of Spanish business
The Hiriko is 100 inches (2.5 m) in length, but only 60 inches (1.5 m) when folded for parking
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The Hiriko is 100 inches (2.5 m) in length, but only 60 inches (1.5 m) when folded for parking
The Hiriko's windshield doubles as the car door
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The Hiriko's windshield doubles as the car door
The word Hiriko itself derives from the Basque words hiri (town or city) and kotxe (car)
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The word Hiriko itself derives from the Basque words hiri (town or city) and kotxe (car)
The Hiriko's windshield doubles as the car door
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The Hiriko's windshield doubles as the car door
The word Hiriko itself derives from the Basque words hiri (town or city) and kotxe (car)
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The word Hiriko itself derives from the Basque words hiri (town or city) and kotxe (car)
The Hiriko is envisaged as an inner-city car
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The Hiriko is envisaged as an inner-city car
The Hiriko is envisaged as an inner-city car
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The Hiriko is envisaged as an inner-city car
The Hiriko is an electric car that folds up to reduce in length from 100 down to a mere 60 inches - the width of an ordinary car
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The Hiriko is an electric car that folds up to reduce in length from 100 down to a mere 60 inches - the width of an ordinary car
The Hiriko is 100 inches (2.5 m) in length, but only 60 inches (1.5 m) when folded for parking
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The Hiriko is 100 inches (2.5 m) in length, but only 60 inches (1.5 m) when folded for parking
The Hiriko is envisaged as an inner-city car
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The Hiriko is envisaged as an inner-city car
The Hiriko is 100 inches (2.5 m) in length, but only 60 inches (1.5 m) when folded for parking
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The Hiriko is 100 inches (2.5 m) in length, but only 60 inches (1.5 m) when folded for parking
The Hiriko's trunk
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The Hiriko's trunk
The word Hiriko itself derives from the Basque words hiri (town or city) and kotxe (car)
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The word Hiriko itself derives from the Basque words hiri (town or city) and kotxe (car)
Each wheel integrates a motor, steering actuators, suspension and braking
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Each wheel integrates a motor, steering actuators, suspension and braking
The Hiriko is 100 inches (2.5 m) in length, but only 60 inches (1.5 m) when folded for parking
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The Hiriko is 100 inches (2.5 m) in length, but only 60 inches (1.5 m) when folded for parking
The word Hiriko itself derives from the Basque words hiri (town or city) and kotxe (car)
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The word Hiriko itself derives from the Basque words hiri (town or city) and kotxe (car)
View gallery - 29 images

That the Hiriko electric car prototype is small is obvious to anyone. Perhaps less obvious is that, in parking, the Hiriko becomes even smaller. Thanks to a folding mechanism that tucks the rear of the car in under the chassis, the Hiriko's length can be reduced to the width of an ordinary automobile. The result? It's possible to park three Hirikos in a single parking bay.

The folding allows the automobile to be reduced from an already diminutive length of 100 down to a mere 60 inches (2.5 down to 1.5 meters). The folding is carried out during parking, and doesn't require the driver to leave the comfort of her seat, much less get her hands dirty.

Better still, the Hiriko's windshield doubles as the car door, so drivers and passengers (the car is a two-seater) can park facing the sidewalk without have to worry about chipping paint or bruising cheekbones attempting to squeeze in and out of narrow gaps.

Perhaps the key feature of the Hiriko is its "robot wheels" which allow the car to turn more or less on the spot about its center. Each integrates a motor, steering actuators, suspension and braking right inside the wheel, controlled by a drive-by-wire system. The car is entirely battery-powered with a single-charge range of 75 miles (120 km).

The Hiriko is an evolution of MIT's CityCar project, in collaboration with Denokinn (the Basque Center for Innovation) and a consortium of Spanish businesses. The word Hiriko itself derives from the Basque words hiri (town or city) and kotxe (car) - so the name is in essence merely an English to Basque translation.

Electric Car News put the price of the Hiriko at £11,000 (US$17,430), which broadly agrees with other figures that have been suggested, though it may be that the car is more popular with city authorities hoping (perhaps clamoring) to introduce fleets of Hirikos for inner-city hire schemes. In any case the electric cars are expected to take to the streets in 2013. The car was unveiled at the end of January by president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.

Check out the MIT CG below.

Product page: Hiriko, source: Electric Car News via the Telegraph

CityCar Changing Places Group

View gallery - 29 images
31 comments
Davey
Does it have a cup holder that won\'t spill anything when converting between parking and driving modes?
VoiceofReason
I have to say that\'s cool as hell. My only real concern is how crash worthy is it in a frontal impact?
rigjunkie
@Davey Oops!
yrag
I think it\'s a great concept, but here in the US, you can get a 4 seat Hyundai Accent for $17,430!
And other decent cars for below that.
Oliver McFishcloud
I love the two concerns. And I agree, that thing is cool as hell.
b@man
I wouldn\'t pay $17,000 for a golf cart. That\'s ridiculous.
Paul van Dinther
I love it. That is a clever design. I currently drive a very light weight Honda Insight mark I. This 700kg vehicle is made of aluminium and when in a crash probably won\'t leave much of me. So here is the thing. I KNOW that and as a result I drive more carefully.
Don\'t you think the increased safety of cars leaves the drivers more careless?
But this car is a perfect city runner. Speeds normally around 50-60 kmh with maybe peaks of around 80 kmh. The lower speeds make it safer already.
This crazy thing about wanting to drive a \"tank\" for safety is out of hand and turns people into poor drivers. You can argue that you are safe but the other person is not but the tide needs to be turned around somewhere.
Scooters tend to be dangerous vehicles in Auckland New Zealand because there are very few. Few push bikes as well. Highly dangerous to drive them. Yet in many big Asian cities there are thousands of these things and form the main traffic on the roads. There it is not dangerous because people are used to them.
The sheer coolness factor of this vehicle would make me put in an order.
bboomer
you may not have to worry about paint off the door edge,but there may be a few dents in the side when the normal car tries to get out.
Womp
The problem they are trying to solve seems valid, but their solution is unnecessarily expensive and complex. If you want a smaller car just count the number of people in each car around you next time you are stuck in traffic, you\'ll find almost all contain only one person. So, why would you choose a complex and expensive folding car when all that is needed is a single seater which would be simpler and probably cheaper?
flying Spaghetti monster
I would drive this car. I agree with Dinther, If everyone drove these types of cars the danger would be much less. Their already are many smartcar\'s on the road. I welcome the age of the small efficient car.
I hope in the future.we just rent these types of cars or other larger cars for purpose based transportation .