Hiriko electric car
via http://uk.autoblog.com/2012/01/23/hiriko-folding-car-could-be-coming-to-a-city-near-you/?icid=cars|DL_1_link
Tomorrow (January 24) will be a rather special day for the European Commission as President Jose Manuel Barroso launches the Hiriko electric car.

The Hiriko is being promoted as a model of European social innovation and is expected to revolutionise city transport.

How? By providing a mode of transport that can be used by anyone and anywhere, as well as creating new jobs in deprived areas. The vehicles will be used just like the
French Velib bikes, or Boris bikes in London, allowing people to jump in and drive off for a small charge.

The car's engines are located in the wheels giving it 4WD. It folds up to approximately half its length to make parking easier, and it can be located instantly by smartphone. It is fully electric, seats two people and has a 75-mile range.

A long list of countries has already signed up to demo the Hiriko, including Berlin, Barcelona, San Francisco and the Galapagos Islands. Talks are also being held to make the little pod car the preferred choice of transport for Brussels.

Some of the first models will be built in Malmoe, Sweden, where around 30 jobs will initially be given to Iraqi refugees.

The project has encouraged businesses to work together in its design and manufacturing. Originally the brainchild of MIT, private companies have invested heavily in different processes of the build to make it a reality.

Individuals will also be able to buy the car at a cost of 12,500 euros and it could be a part of the traffic as early as next year.

A similar concept to the
EN-V Jiao we showed you last year, EU officials hope that these cars will be commonplace in urban areas in little more than three years.

But what do you think? Can it work and would you use a Hiriko for city driving?