Your Flexible Electric Friend – Coming Soon

Your flexible electric friend is­ coming soon. We’ll all need one. Electric cars are fast becoming the flavor of 2012 along with the assumption that they are greener than anything based on fossil fuels. As we frack and frack some more to squeeze natural gas out of its hiding place to drive our power stations, we will, of course, use some of it to generate the electricity to power our new car.

The question remains hanging in the air, why don’t we stuff that natural gas in our car and use it rather than go through a secondary and the tertiary process to get to the liquor store, but enough of this gloom and doom, we should look towards the blue skies.

One nice blue skies project that brightened my day is the Hiroko Project, which is quite close to becoming a reality (1). It’s based in Spain, but has roots as diverse as MIT’s town car concept.

It is another two-seater electric car, which has a satisfying futuristic design. Ready to race you at the traffic lights, it has a slightly VW Beetle look, but I hasten to add a futuristic beetle, not a retro one.

The downside is that it has a 75-mile range at present. That is a bit limiting if you are foolish enough to want to buzz around LA and its environs every day, but for simple commuting or retail therapy it will be fine. Especially when they fit inductive charging stations in parking lots so we can go and drink our skinny lattes with the beautiful people and come back after an hour or two of Facebooking and connecting with the Twittering classes to find our battery topped up.

But all this is nothing compared the big idea of Hiroko. It folds up to park on a dime. It leisurely tucks it rear wheels under its body like a Saluki hound folds itself up to sit in your favorite chair and balances on its nose.  As a driver you step out elegantly from a close to standing position. When getting in you do the same and your Hiroko casually stretches out taking you into a semi-recumbent posture ready to scoot off leaving the parking demons standing open mouthed before they can hand you a ticket.

My only thought is that being rear ended in a multi-vehicle pile up could be a tad unusual, but my mother always told me that I had too much imagination for my own good. I am already saving up for my first fold up car. If it gets Googled so that I just have to tell it where to go and don’t have to soil my hands on a steering wheel, I’ll be in heaven.


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