An interesting new EV concept – dubbed “Hiriko” – has surfaced online. Designed by MIT in cooperation with the Spanish government, the EV boasts some fairly unusual specs.
For example, rather than one large electric motor that sends power to the wheels, each of the Hiriko’s wheels is equipped with its own motor. This means you can push interior space to the max because there is no motor in the front or rear of the car to deal with.
The oddest feature? The Hiriko literally folds to take up less space and make parking easier. Seriously. Once parked, the driver can retract the rear section of the vehicle to make it shorter.
According to the makers of the car, the Hiriko takes up about 2/3 the space of a Smart ForTwo when it is folded.
Two-thirds the size of a Smart car is very small indeed. And yes, anyone who has nearly rear-ended a Smart car parked between two larger vehicles in a parking lot into oblivion may be frightened by that 2/3 size spec.
The car is equipped with a single front door and offers joystick controls rather than a steering wheel. Unfortunately, the important specs we generally like to know about an EV are conspicuously absent. There is no indication of how far the car will go on a charge, what sort of electric motors are used, and how long it might take to charge.
Participating firms are currently building 20 test vehicles, with an estimated bill of materials weighing in at $16,253 per car. With that being the cost of components and construction, the MSRP would be much higher presumably. No official launch date is set at this time. In short, this is a very odd-looking little car, but it does boast some interesting specs and will likely have potential in the rapidly evolving EV market.