A foldable electric CityCar has been created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab and commercialized by a consortium of automotive suppliers in Spain's Basque region.
Since 2009, the Media Lab has collaborated with Denokinn, the Basque Center for innovation, entrepreneurship and new business, from Vitoria, Spain, and their partner companies to refine the design and technology of the CityCar ahead of its commercialization.
The foldable CityCar is introduced to European Commission President Jose Barroso, left, January 24, 2012 (Image by videoartish)
The MIT Media Lab foldable electric CityCar was unveiled at European Commission headquarters in Brussels on January 24. The consortium is negotiating to place a fleet of 100 CityCars in Brussels next year.
Branded Hiriko, which means urban in the Basque language, these two-passenger micro cars are just two meters (6.5 feet) long and weigh 450 kilos (1,100 pounds). The passenger cabin can slide upwards as the wheels roll together, folding the chassis to minimize the car's footprint when parked.
When folded, three CityCars can fit into one traditional parking space, making parking much more efficient in crowded cities.