Tiny little city cars aren’t particularly common in the United States, at least not yet.
However, in European cities where streets are often much narrower and traffic can be significantly heavier, tiny city cars are indeed a common site.
Recently, MIT rolled out a rather interesting “folding” electric vehicle (EV) created under the auspices of the University’s Changing Places group and Denokinn.
The little city car is eco-friendly, very small, and has been dubbed the Hiriko Fold. Although the car is already quite compact, it is capable of folding so as to more snugly fit into tiny parking places.
Although the MIT EV was initially introduced as a concept vehicle, the car is expected to go on sale in 2013 for a cool $16,000. Hiriko is designed to carry two passengers and can travel up to 75 miles on a single charge.
The vehicle is expected to boast a range of other features, such as a zero turn radius, a concept which is actually similar to certain lawnmowers. It appears the wheels will turn independently – allowing the car to spin in place. With a folding design and zero turn radius, the Hiriko should be supremely maneuverable in tight spaces, as the car can even parallel park by moving sideways.
Some Hiriko Fold car models have already been tested in Europe, with the manufacturer betting the car will be popular in crowded cities like Berlin, San Francisco, and Barcelona where commuters have an eye towards green transportation.
The vehicle is equipped with a single front door and uses a joystick rather than a steering wheel. The car is also said to include individual motors inside each wheel.