Smaller than Smart: MIT designed folding electric car, Hiriko Fold scheduled to go on sale next year at $16,000
With escalating fuel prices, traffic congestion and lack of basic parking space, a foldable electric car might just be the answer to out car parking problems. Designed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the first of its kind folding electric car named Hiriko Fold, is now confirmed to go on sale next year. European market will be the first place where this smaller than Smart car will be launched in the coming year.
Prices are expected to hover around $16,000 (€13,000) and trials are being conducted as we speak. The “Hiriko”, is compact, foldable and three Hirikos can fit into a single parking space due to a special mechanism that tucks the rear of the car under the chassis. Hiriko’s length can be reduced to the width of an ordinary automobile.
Besides this, the Hiriko folding car is fitted with robot wheels which turn on its axis making it possible for the car to move sideways making parallel parking possible. Hiriko is a two seater model with ability to travel upto 65 miles on a single recharge. Production is expected to commence from early next year with the vehicle scheduled to go on sale in Spain from mid 2013.
Hiriko CityCar unveiling with Ryan C.C. Chin, Kent Larson, William Lark, Jr., Chih-Chao Chuang, Nicholas Pennycooke, and Praveen Subramani at the European Union Commission Headquarters in Brussels (Jan 2012)
Hiriko driving mobility
For more information on Hiriko CityCar, read the news release from MIT below.
Hiriko CityCar with Denokinn
Ryan C.C. Chin, Kent Larson, William Lark, Jr., Chih-Chao Chuang, Nicholas Pennycooke, and Praveen Subramani
We are working with Denokinn to design and develop an integrated modular system for assembly and distribution of the CityCar. This project, based in the Basque region of Spain, will be called the “Hiriko” Project, which stands for Urban Car (Hiri = urban, Ko = coche or car in Basque). The goal of the Hiriko project is to create a new, distributed manufacturing system for the CityCar which will enable automotive suppliers to provide “core” components made of integrated modules such as in-wheel motor units, battery systems, interiors, vehicle control systems, vehicle chassis/exoskeleton, and glazing. A full-scale working prototype will be completed by the end of 2011 with an additional 20 prototypes to be built for testing in 2012. (Continuing the vision of William J. Mitchell).
To read Praveen Subramani’s official blog on the Hiriko CityCar, click here.