Tuesday, October 8, 2013

HIRIKO Electric Car

The Hiriko is a folding two-seat urban electric car being developed by the Hiriko Driving Mobility consortium in the Basque Country. The electric car is the commercial implementation of the CityCar project developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab since 2003. The name Hiriko comes from the Basque word for "urban" or "from the city".

Three versions are being developed: the Fold microcar; the Alai, a convertible; and the Laga, a small truck. The Hiriko is designed specifically for short-distance urban carsharing programs and municipal fleets. A manufacturing trial of 20 pre-production cars began in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, in July 2012.A pilot program is scheduled to take place in Germany in 2013 to integrate the Hiriko Fold into Deutsche Bahn's railway service to allow their customers the possibility of using a vehicle parked at the station with which to complete the last mile of the journey to their final destinations.

The production version of the Hiriko Fold is scheduled to be unveiled in March 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show, and production is planned for the second quarter of 2013. Retail deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2014, and pricing starts at €12,500 (US$16,400) plus battery leasing fees

As our city centers become more and more populated, new transportation ideas are being developed to keep the population moving. The Hiriko Fold city car is an ultra-compact car that can fold upright to fit into tight parking situations – and it’s set to hit the market next year in cities around the world! Created by DENOKINN and MIT’s Changing Places group, the high-tech vehicle is expected to cost $16,000, gets 75 miles between charges, and features spinning wheels that allow it to move sideways, making parallel parking a snap

At just five feet long, the Hiriko Fold is smaller than the Smart Fortwo and is capable of folding to fit into tight parking situations. The electric city car has room for two passengers (who enter the car from the front) and it’s capable of driving up to 75 miles between charges. One cool feature relates to the Hiriko Fold’s wheels, which have a zero-turn radius that enables the vehicle to spin completely in place on its axis. This also gives the small car the ability to move sideways, which aides in parallel parking.

Earlier this year the Hiriko project released the first initial sketches of its electric city car, but at the end of June, the Fold was brought to the center of Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca square. Twenty vehicles have already been produced in the model’s initial trial production run. Some of those initial models have now been sent to potential buyers in Europe for testing. The group says that the city car has already passed all crash safety tests. Eventually, three versions of the city car will be produced – the Fold; the Alai, a convertible; and the Laga, a small truck.

The Hiriko Fold is expected to go on sale in 2013 with a price tag around $16,000. The group expects to sell the small car in cities like Barcelona, Berlin and San Francisco.

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