Meet “Hiriko” – An MIT-Backed Two-seater Electric Car That Fold Into Itself To Save Parking Space

Posted on Jan 26 2012 - 10:34am by Editorial Staff

A car prototype that folds into itself to save parking space, you might be wondering do something like this too even possible. The answer is yes, it is possible – Meet Hiriko. Hiriko is a two-seater electric car, is the result of a partnership of Basque businesses, the Spanish government and the US’s MIT Media Lab. The car is powered by four in-wheel motors, will be launched tomorrow (Tuesday, January 24) by Jose Manuel Barroso president of the European Commission, in Brussels.

Hiriko’s also include a single front-opening door and joystick controls. There’s no hint at what this will translate to in sticker price when it goes into production next year. Details on range, mph and charge speed are still not known, but 20 test vehicles are being built at a reported cost of $16,253 each.

“I call this mobility on demand,” says Ryan Chin, the researcher behind the concept thought up at the MIT labs in the 1980s. “Hiriko’s technology and green footprint is five times better than you find in today’s Smart cars.”

Several European and American cities are to be the scenes for the initial trials – such trials will closely resemble in execution Paris’s new electric car hire/share scheme Autolib, according to the makers. Trials begin in autumn this year in cities such as Bilbao, Malmo and Boston.

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