hiriko collapsible electric city car hiriko collapsible electric city car
jan 26, 2012

hiriko collapsible electric city car

‘hiriko’ is a foldable urban electric vehicle, based on MIT media lab’s ‘citycar’

hiriko‘ is a compact electric urban mobility vehicle, capable of folding together when parked. the first working prototype of the device, which is the commercial version of MIT media lab’s ‘citycar‘ concept, has just been presented in brussels, belgium.

the electric two-seater (whose name is basque for ‘city’, or ‘urban’) measures just 5-feet (1.5-meters) long and contains no doors; passengers instead enter through an upswinging windshield. the vehicle’s motor is distributed among its four wheels, each of which contains a drive motor, steering, braking, and suspension. as a result, the car can be folded together for parking purposes, permitting about three ‘hiriko’ vehicles to fit in the space of a single ordinary parking spot. the wheels also enable a zero-turn radius, capable of spinning completely in place.

‘hiriko’ is expected to have a range of about 60 miles (100 kilometers).

diagram of the collapsing mechanism of the vehicle image © william lark jr., smartcities MIT

video demo of MIT’s ‘citycar’, on which ‘hiriko’ is based

the project is the collaboration of MIT’s changing places group at the MIT media lab, alongside denokinn basque center for innovation, afypaida automotive developers, and the spanish ministry of science and innovation.

20 test vehicles are reportedly being built for a 2013 pilot program, at a cost that would place its target price at about 16,355 USD. although the vehicles may potentially be sold to individuals, the company anticipates its use in urban sharing programs. the producers plan to develop a distributed manufacturing system that enables independent automotive suppliers to provide the core components, which are then integrated together.

rendering of the vehicle in use

already small at 1.5-meters long, the car compacts for easy parking (visible at right)

jose manuel barroso (left), president of the european commission, and jesus echabe, president of hiriko, demo the prototype car image © francois lenoir / reuters, via national post

detail on rear

via the verge

  • While I dont think space is at such a premium that a tiny car needs to fold up, it looks fun and comfortable and id like to try it for a week.

    charles says:
  • Parking space a huge problem in most urban centers, and now it’s occupied by enormous SUVs, the equivalent of double Whoppers. Smaller, less lethal cars are exactly what’s needed. Even in a suburban mall parking lot: with much smaller parking areas, shopper have much less far to walk and much of that old asphalt could become a green park.

    Mort d'Urban says:
  • It does look fun. I would like to try one just to run around town on errands

    David-Missouri says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news