Innovative HIRIKO EV to launch in Spain next year
The HIRIKO is a compact electric vehicle, approximately the same size as a modern-day SMART, however, distinguishes itself amongst its competitors by its ability to fold itself to fit the tightest of parking space in urban city environments.
Barosso said the vehicle was a tribute to the memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, whose visionary commitment to social innovation has greatly inspired the European Commission.
Developed by a Basque enterprise consortium, the HIRIKO is a giant step ahead in urban mobility thanks to its management system, as per demand, that complements the public transport and helps decongest traffic in city centres.
HIRIKO features innovative navigation systems, 120 km autonomy, can reach a maximum speed of 56mph and can be limited to 31mph in the city.
Barroso recently stated: 'Projects such as the electric car by HIRIKO play an important role in responding to the crisis, for it combines new business possibilities with the creation of employment and social innovation.'
Barroso explained that 'budget control is essential when it comes to fighting this crisis', but he also said that, 'projects such as the HIRIKO car are part of the solution to the crisis. HIRIKO is an example of how to resuscitate traditional industrial sectors and lead them to new challenges, such as urban mobility.'
Jesus Echave, chairman of HIRIKO-AFYPAIDA, said: 'HIRIKO is not just an industrial and technological project of the highest level, it also provides solutions in terms of employment, urban mobility, business cooperation and attention to disadvantaged groups. In HIRIKO we fully apply the concept of “social innovation” to a new product that will allow the big leap forward that is being carried out during this century by intelligent cities and regions in terms of mobility.'
He went on to add: 'What Europe needs is precisely people like Vasconcelos, people with an ability to address the current challenges with clear and innovative ideas to ensure a social and economic development that is respectful with the planet. The European Commission is a leading actor in the promotion of social innovation.'
The HIRIKO is expected to go on sale in Spain next year with an estimated on-the-road price of €12,474.92 (£10,560).