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The Hiriko is a new electric vehicle created by a business consortium headquartered in Spain. The company will begin selling a small electric car next year, and the first prototype was just presented at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.
The little car has two seats, 300 liters of rear cargo space, four-wheel drive, four wheel steering and the body of the vehicle can fold upward for parking. It has a top speed of 90km/h but is limited to 50km/h in cities. It has a 120km range. It will accelerate to 70km/h in 8 seconds. According to Hiriko, which both the name of the company and the vehicle, it can quick charge in 15 minutes or charge to 80% in six hours from a normal charge.
The original idea for the vehicle came from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US. A Smart Cities concept was developed there that wanted to create sustainable vehicles for cities. Some original design sketches for the vehicle were done by famed architect Frank Gehry.
The Hiriko is a small, bubble-shaped car with lots of visibility. The vehicle does not require a normal factory to build. The components are made in modular pieces that can be combined anywhere to build the vehicle.
The car was developed in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Basque Country in Spain, at a technological park by American and Spanish engineers.
Hiriko plans to have 9000 cars built by 2015 and is working on future four-seat and pickup variations. The car is being marketed to to cities, municipalities, post offices and similar public organizations for now. It is also offering franchises to make the car available to consumers.