PHOTO CAPTION: Casple Podadera foldable podcar reduces its wheelbase to 74 inches, less than that of a smart car.

Spanish Group Develops Competing Foldable Electric City Car

Casple Group develops their own folding electric city car in competition with Basque-developed Hiriko.

Published: 18-Feb-2013

Drive around just about any medium-to-large city and the second thing you notice after all the traffic congestion is the lack of parking spaces. Finding somewhere to park a car becomes nearly as time consuming, frustrating, and costly as getting there in the first place.

Enter the foldable city car, the first being the MIT/GM co-designed, Spanish developed electric vehicle (EV). Now dubbed the Hiriko, the two-seater literally folds up its own parked footprint, reducing its wheelbase by nearly half from 2.5 meters (98.4 in.) to 1.5m (59 in.).

The concept is so compelling that another Spanish group, Casple, in conjunction with designer Francisco Podadera, have developed their own folding car, called the "Casple Podadera." Also all-electric and seating two in side-by-side configuration like the Hiriko, it folds from 2.3m to 1.9m by retracting its rear drive wheels. Range is estimated at 130 km (80 mi) and a top speed of 110 km/h (66 mph).

The CP is built on a tubular steel frame with body panels made of honeycomb composites for both strength and light weight.

Both vehicles are designed for urban environments and will excel in electric carshare and short-term rental programs where passengers disembarking at train stations can rent the cars for local use.

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