Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lithium Urban Mobility: Hiriko Electric Car - Just Fold It ilc.v, tnr.v, czx.v, rm.v, lmr.v, abn.v, asm.v, btt.v, bva.v, bvg.v, epz.v, fst.v, gbn.v, hao.v, jnn.v, ks.v, ktn.v, kxm.v, mgn, mxr.v, rvm.to, svb, ura.v, nup.ax, srz.ax, usa.ax



  This revolutionary Urban Electric Car is called Hiriko now and is heading into production. It could be the reply to the congested urban mobility and it could be on the streets in the nearest future. Car sharing schemes with mobility on demand can be ideal for this car. It could be the answer to the suburbs in the age of Peak Oil and key to their survival. You can drive your Plug In car to the urban area and then use Hiriko for intercity connections. 




  

Lithium Wars in Congress: Oil Empire Strikes Back - GM Launches Chevy Volt Ad Campagne

"How America can continue to innovate if even electric cars are the toys in politicians hands? Maybe they better tell everyone about the Real Price of Oil? We will run the best commercials for Chevy Volt today."

The New York Times:


M.I.T. CityCar, Renamed Hiriko, Is Headed to Production

By PHIL PATTON

"José Manuel Barroso, with the first prototype of the Hiriko folding electric car, on Tuesday at European Union Commission headquarters.
At European Union Commission headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, the commission chief, José Manuel Barroso, inspected a small city-car prototype. It was the commercial version of the long-gestating CityCar from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab.

Mr. Barroso posed for pictures inside the vehicle, which has been renamed the Hiriko, the Basque word for urban. The trial production of 20 cars and a pilot program are scheduled to begin next year in Spain’s Basque region, at Vitoria Gasteiz, not far from Bilbao.

Gorka Espiau, a spokesman for the project, wrote in an e-mail that final prices for the cars would depend on the number of vehicles ordered by a potential customer. M.I.T.’s partner in the project, the Basque investment group Denokinn, plans to deploy the Hiriko in city fleets around the world. Mr. Espiau added that the parties were targeting a vehicle price of 12,500 euros, roughly $16,400, if they chose to sell the Hiriko to private individuals.

The podlike electric vehicle, whose battery pack would be leased, is a two-seater with 4-wheel drive and a range in excess of 100 kilometer, or about 60 miles. Because its wheelbase can collapse, a single parking space can accommodate three vehicles. Driver and passenger enter through a windshield that swings upward.


The CityCar project has garnered significant attention over the years, but funding from General Motors, its initial corporate supporter, ended in 2008, and the resident visionary of the scheme, Prof. William J. Mitchell, died in 2010. The project is currently headed by Prof. Kent Larson.

“Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century,” published by M.I.T. Press and written by Dr. Mitchell, Chris Borroni-Bird and Lawrence Burns of General Motors, was dedicated largely to making the case for the CityCar. The vehicle was also included in the National Design Museum triennial, called “Why Design Now?“, in 2010.

Along with regional and national officials, the European Union regards the Hiriko as an asset to the Basque country. Like the Guggenheim Bilbao museum project, which brought tourists to the old port city, the factory is aimed to help revive the aging automotive-supplier infrastructure in the region.

As originally envisioned by Mr. Mitchell and his lab’s students, the CityCar was less a vehicle than a system and set of ideas that could be applied to many kinds of vehicles, including scooters. The lab’s objective is to preserve the advantages of individual transportation while minimizing drawbacks like congestion, parking scarcity and tailpipe emissions. The electric cars fold together like shopping carts. They communicate over a central network, much like bicycles in share programs in major European capitals, to alert users where and when one might be available.

The manufacturing project is headed by Armando Gaspar, a Belgian-born former engineer for the defunct Daimler-Chrysler consortium. Parts will be sourced from local manufacturers, and a newly created company, Basque Robot Wheels, will work on realizing the Hiriko’s trick in-place turning radius, handy for urban maneuverability.

Dr. Larson wrote in an e-mail that the Hiriko would initially be intended for shared-use projects. At Tuesday’s event were representatives of cities that had expressed interest in starting programs, among them Malmo, Barcelona and Berlin. “The M.I.T. team is studying deployment in those cities, plus Hong Kong and San Francisco,” he wrote.

Consistent with Mr. Mitchell’s vision, Mr. Larson added that the student team, headed by Ryan Chin, and the designer of the car, William Lark, had also created a three-wheel E.V. prototype that would also function in bicycle mode and would meet all European bike-lane regulations."
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