2013 is not too far, and there is a good chance that you will see the Hiriko electric car taking to the streets in large numbers. It is an advancement of the MIT CityCar project that was undertaken in collaboration with the Basque Center for Innovation, Denokinn, and a conglomerate of Spanish business. The name Hiriko has its origin in Basque words, ‘hiri’ meaning town or city, and ‘kotxe’ meaning car.
Merely looking at the picture of the Hiriko electric car, you will get an idea about its small size. What’s surprising is that this size further reduces when the car is parked. The folding mechanism of the car tucks its rear under the chassis, accommodating three Hiriko’s in a single parking slot.
When folded, the car is reduced from a petite length of 100 down to just 60 inches. The car will fold smoothly during parking without requiring the driver to leave his comfort seat. The windshield of the car doubles as a door too, and therefore, the driver can easily park the car facing the sidewalk without worrying about the chipping of its paint or external scratching.
Another feature of the car that cannot escape a mention is its ‘robot wheels’. These wheels allow the car to almost turn on the spot about its center. Each wheel is amalgamated with steering actuators, suspension, and also breaking, which are controlled by a drive by wire system. The battery powered car can give a range of 120km with a single charge.
The Hiriko is expected to be priced at $17,430 and may even be the preferred choice of city authorities for inner city hire schemes.