In no time, electric cars have become from environmentally to space-friendly, only to save up on parking space and ease up traffic. Wouldn’t you like a car that could bend until it makes itself as tiny as possible? Now you can have one starting next year, if the Hiriko folding electric vehicle gets to the production phase.
For people who have a fetish for small things or just don’t need a gas guzzler, this month saw the unveiling of this electric two-seater, that hides the rear side under the chassis. Also, there is only one door available for its passengers and that’s obviously at the front. This allows it to occupy two-thirds of what a Smart car would.
Among its features, it’s worth mentioning the wheels driven individually by interior electric motors, which offer the driver a larger amount of power and efficiency.
A somewhat unusual feature is the joystick arrangement that replaces a regular steering wheel – it relies on the directions given by the onboard navigation system. I guess that gives a new meaning to the expression: “don’t take your hands off the wheel!”
This “baby” is the product of Basque businesses, the Spanish government and the US MIT Media Lab. That’s why this fall will see trials being held in Bilbao, Malmo and Boston. In the meantime, 20 Hirikos are being put together at Vitoria-Gasteiz in the Basque country.
Enthusiasts will have another reason to look forward to the 2013 spring: the commercial version of the Hiriko will see daylight and cost 12,500 euros ($16,500).