Hiriko's "folding" electric vehicle has been in the works for about two years but the momentum is picking up. The company has reached an agreement with the operator of the German railway network to start testing the vehicles within a car-sharing network in Berlin starting early next year.
Railway operator Deutche Bahn and Hiriko will start a pilot project in 2013, with plans for a broader rollout of the vehicle the following year. Deutche Bahn called Hiriko an "ideal partner to complement its extensive railway network."
Hiroko consists of a Basque consortium of auto suppliers and engineers from MIT. The company, whose name loosely means "from the city" in Basque, has about an $87 million budget and has built about 20 vehicles for testing purposes, the New York Times reported in August. The Fold is the first of three versions that will be put out by Hiriko. There are also plans for the Alai (convertible) and Laga (truck).
The car is about eight feet long, about a foot shorter than Daimler's Smart Fortwo, in regular form, and can be folded to a length of about five feet. The car's four wheels can also rotate at a 60-degree angle. Check out Hiriko's press release below.
The German railways choose the Hiriko for their Berlin transport network
Deutsche Bahn, the international mobility supplier and also the company that operates the German railway network, has chosen the Hiriko electric vehicle ?promoted by a Basque corporate consortium- to complete its transport network in Berlin. Both entities have reached a collaboration agreement this morning in the German capital to initiate a pilot project with which to progressively incorporate the Basque vehicle into the car