Despite the name, it's not Japanese.

That's one of the first surprises about the Hiriko, an urban battery-electric two-seat vehicle that a Basque consortium of auto suppliers is looking to start selling to municipalities for carsharing purposes starting next year, according to the New York Times.

Hiriko Driving Mobility Group, which is working with the Spanish government and MIT (which has been working on the concept since at least 2007) and has an $87 million budget, unveiled its first version of the EV in January and has made about 20 vehicles for testing purposes. Hiroko will come in three versions: the Fold (standard), Alai (convertible) and Laga (truck). The company will target cities such as Barcelona, Berlin and San Francisco for potential purchases.

As we've reported, all of models will be small and will be able to get smaller. The Hiriko will be about eight feet long, about a foot shorter than the Smart ForTwo, and has a hinged body that allows it to shrink its length to about five feet – that's shorter than a typical bicycle. Additionally, all of the vehicle's four wheels will be able to rotate at a 60-degree angle, which is great for both parking and doing donuts.

As for the name, Hiriko is actually a loose translation of a Basque term meaning "from the city."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 4 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 10 Hours Ago
      I can see European cities moving in this direction, together with car share, bicycles and so on. They had a program on about Copenhagen today. The way they reduced car ownership to 29%, together with the huge cost of cars etc, was to prioritise pedestrians and bikes. For instance, in many areas the road markings indicate that a notional pavement carries on across the road at junctions, so that instead of pedestrians having to stop and wait until the road is clear, cars have to stop and wait until they can get across the 'pavement'. To my mind the huge casualties imposed by allowing cars to speed through cities and have priority should be stopped. This could be achieved by an overall speed limit in every area where pedestrians and bicycles are used of 15mph. I believe US air bases where that limit is imposed have never had a road fatality. This would also reverse the present absurd reversal, where NEVs are alleged to be dangerous because they are crushed by full cars, instead of the cars which do the damage being so labelled. Collapsible tiny cars for the city if you absolutely have to drive would seem to be the way to go.
        paulwesterberg
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @DaveMart
        Speeding on base for military members is Dereliction of Duty, a violation of Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Military members caught speeding are given a citation that is forwarded to their commander. Commanders have authority to use all administrative and disciplinary tools available to deal with the infraction. Options include a verbal counseling, a letter of reprimand or for repeat offenders and serious cases, an Article 15 or a court-martial. http://www.kirtland.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123208127
      Giza Plateau
      • 10 Hours Ago
      Seems like a solution to a problem that doesn't exist
      SVX pearlie
      • 10 Hours Ago
      Innovative and clever, at a reasonable price - that is excellence in design.