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Germany: DB chooses Hiriko for Berlin car sharing

The German railway network Deutsche Bahn (DB) has chosen the Hiriko Fold EV – promoted by a Basque consortium – to complete the car-sharing element of its multi-modal transport network in Berlin. Both entities have signed a collaboration agreement to initiate a pilot project which will progressively incorporate the Basque EV into the rail company’s … Continued

The German railway network Deutsche Bahn (DB) has chosen the Hiriko Fold EV – promoted by a Basque consortium – to complete the car-sharing element of its multi-modal transport network in Berlin. Both entities have signed a collaboration agreement to initiate a pilot project which will progressively incorporate the Basque EV into the rail company’s ‘eFlinkster’ car sharing network, subject to the requisite technical approvals.

The agreement, that includes a joint development of the Hiriko project in Germany, includes an initial phase in 2013 in which the Hiriko Fold folding EV is to be tested and adapted for public use in Berlin via the InnoZ Innovation Centre’s electroMobility platform.

With its objective of providing integrated mobility solutions, DB says certain singular characteristics of the Hiriko project make it an ideal partner to complement its railway network with electric car sharing services in big cities. Deutsche Bahn already offers the use of vehicles parked at stations for “the last mile” of the journey to customers’ final destinations.

DB says the fact that Hiriko is the only vehicle specifically designed for electric car sharing in big cities was the decisive factor. This is reinforced by the fact that the vehicle can fold up to occupy less space when parked than other two-seaters, and that its electronics system allows it to connect to the most advanced mobility platforms.

The collaboration agreement signed in Berlin by Hiriko Director General Armando Gaspar and DB’s Director of Innovation Andreas Knie was concluded within the framework of Germany’s B-mobility project – the main national  initiative for testing EVs – coincided with the unveiling of the Hiriko Fold prototype and the same start-up’s IALAI roadster concept. Gaspar said, “This agreement is a fundamental landmark in the international development of the Hiriko project. Up to the present, Hiriko has been a great innovation project, and now it is becoming an industrial reality.”

One of Deutsche Bahn’s main partners in the development of innovative urban mobility proposals is the InnoZ electric mobility research centre, with which Hiriko has been collaborating for over two years. As a result of this collaboration, the first Hiriko prototype was unveiled in Berlin in May 2010 with representatives from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), whose Changing Places Group was instrumental in devising the vehicle’s platform.

The Hiriko project is an initiative promoted by AFYPAIDA with the collaboration of DENOKINN and MIT’s Changing Places Group.

Hiriko Fold at Berlin Hauptbahnhof

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