A tiny revolutionary fold-up car as the answer to urban stress and pollution was unveiled at the EU on Tuesday, January 24, before hitting European cities in 2013. The car was designed in Spain's Basque country.
The electric two-seater with no doors is christened The "Hiriko", the Basque word for "urban". Its motor is located in the wheels and the entire car can fold up like a child's collapsible buggy, or a stroller, for easy parking. The vehicle's four wheels turn at right angles to facilitate sideways parking in tight spaces. The tiny cars can run 120 kilometres (75 miles) without a recharge and their speed is electronically set to respect city limits.
Dreamt up by Boston's MIT-Media lab, the concept was developed by a consortium of seven small Basque firms under the name Hiriko Driving Mobility, and a prototype was unveiled by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
Car's makers are in talks with a number of European cities to assemble. They see it as a city-owned vehicle, up for hire like the fleets of bicycles available in many European cities, or put up for sale privately at around 12,500 euros.
Several cities, including Berlin, Barcelona, San Francisco and Hong Kong, have shown interest. Talks are underway with Paris, London, Boston, Dubai and Brussels.
The backers describe the "Hiriko" project as a "European social innovation initiative offering a systematic solution to major societal challenges: urban transportation, pollution and job creation."
-The answer to urban stress and pollution-
This piece is mostly a paraphrase from the original article.
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