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PHOTO CAPTION: Hiriko electric car concept.

CityCar Concept Headed to Production

Trial production of 20 Hiriko cars and a pilot program are scheduled to begin next year in Spain’s Basque region.

Published: 27-Jan-2012

At European Union Commission headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, the commission chief, José Manuel Barroso, inspected a small city-car prototype. It was the commercial version of the long-gestating CityCar from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab.

Mr. Barroso posed for pictures inside the vehicle, which has been renamed the Hiriko, the Basque word for urban. The trial production of 20 cars and a pilot program are scheduled to begin next year in Spain’s Basque region, at Vitoria Gasteiz, not far from Bilbao.

Gorka Espiau, a spokesman for the project, wrote in an e-mail that final prices for the cars would depend on the number of vehicles ordered by a potential customer. M.I.T.’s partner in the project, the Basque investment group Denokinn, plans to deploy the Hiriko in city fleets around the world. Mr. Espiau added that the parties were targeting a vehicle price of 12,500 euros, roughly $16,400, if they chose to sell the Hiriko to private individuals.

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