Finest hr pt3: Hiriko

The all-electric Hiriko city car. Image courtesy BBC.

Some things don’t move me but this is just fabulous! The MIT-designed Hiriko is a two-seater all-electric, designed-for-the-city car that can be folded up like a baby stroller. The idea behind this compact 1,100lb car is simply to provide transportation between transit points just like the bike-share programmes in cities. It can run 31m/hr for at least 75 miles before it needs to be recharged and takes 15minutes to fully charge. Each of the hiriko’s four wheels has it’s own motor and can turn either way at 60 degrees so you can pack sideways. It has no doors, entrance is through the front windscreen which lifts up like a hatch, and for navigation the steering wheel has been replaced with a yoke which you also use for acceleration/deceleration and turning. In short it is hoped the car can help decongest cities by freeing up parking space. It is projected to be commercially available beginning late 2012 into early 2013 at $16,000-$18,000. Cities in Europe and North America (Berlin, Barcelona, San fransisco and Boston)have already placed orders for fleets of cars for the car-share programme. No exhaust fumes. No parking fee headaches. Bliss. Some men see things as they are and ask why. Some men see things as they never were and ask why not.