[credit provider=”Wikimedia/Robert Hextall” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hiriko_1.jpg”]
One of the most novel electric vehicles we’ve seen in recent years is the Hiriko.The Hiriko is designed for inner city car sharing schemes, initially in Europe but also touted for some U.S. cities. And it has a party piece: The Smart-sized electric vehicle can effectively fold in half to fit tiny parking spaces.
In previous years this might have sounded like vaporware, but L’Expansion reports (via Auto123) that the Hiriko is set to go into production in the Spring, following a reveal at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
Developed between a group of Basque entrepreneurs and experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Hiriko Fold is eight inches shorter than a Smart Fortwo.
Hinged in the middle, it can be shrunk further, folding in half to occupy only 59 inches of space when parking — just under five feet.
Its wheels rotate up to 60 degrees to make parking even easier. Range is said to be around 75 miles, and its four in-wheel electric motors produce 20 horsepower.
Top speed is only 31 mph, but if you’ve ever driven around some of the car’s expected markets, such as Barcelona, London or Berlin, you’ll be aware that traffic and restrictions often preclude greater speeds anyway. A charge of the battery is much quicker — only 15 minutes.
The car is expected to be used in car-sharing schemes, and it may even come to some U.S. cities — San Francisco and Boston have both expressed an interest.
We’ll bring you more about the Hiriko car from the Geneva Motor Show next March.