Israel may have flopped big time when its electric car company Better Place folded this year. It ended with almost a billion in financing and less than 1000 customers signed on to its electric charge network. “Folding” in a positive way is a new concept car from Israel called the City Transformer.
It’s not the world’s first. There have been ideas before, including a folding car from Spain (the Hiriko), but this car from Israel, if it comes to production, could solve our urban driving angsts. It will run on a battery, seats 2 people (like a Twizy) but will fold up to take the space of a motorcycle. It will weigh 400 kilograms (880 pounds).
Sketches from the video below show four City Transformers in the space of one car. We like!
The concept car is being developed in partnership with Yama Design, of Israel, and when it’s ready will sell for about $8,500 USD. This boots the trend of city cars getting bigger in the Middle East, a trend that makes no sense with the rising costs of fuel, greenhouse gas emissions and finding a parking spot in congested cities. The only reason I would want a big car in the Middle East is to save me from reckless driving.
“It’s the freedom for driving in the city,” says Asaf Formoza, City Transformer CEO.
Formoza tells ISRAEL21c that he recognizes that they are not the first to develop a folding car. The fact that there will be more cars out there like it is part of their business plan –– think kit car for your electric, city dreams: “We can give them the platform and they can build on our chassis. Many cars today have the same chassis,” he says. “This is one of our business models.”
See here how the chassis folds up:
Watch the company pitch on City Transformer, in Hebrew:
See the Hiriko, which folds inwards, in this video:
For now the Israeli car is still in the dream phase, but inventors think that one million USD could bring a dream into a driving vision, and prototype.