Published on August 23rd, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan1
Foldable EV — Armadillo-T (VIDEO)
The EV in the video below, created by researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), can fit into a third of a parking space. Of course this is not the future of transportation. You can quote me on that (… as well as anything else I write on here, I guess). But it’s pretty cool. And it does highlight some of the advantages of EVs. As Chris Demorro of Gas2 notes:
Is the Armadillo-T set to replace gas-powered cars? No, of course not, but it does demonstrate some unique features of electric cars. The drivetrain is so compact and free of features like exhaust pipes, driveshafts, and transmissions, allow the Armadillo-T to tuck the front half of its body into the rear “shell”, halving the space it takes up. A standard 5-meter parking space can fit three Armadillo EVs. America’s MIT has worked on a similar project, a folding EV commuter called the Hiroko.
Here more from Chris on some noteworthy points:
While these city EVs have a limited range of just 60 miles, or about 100 km, and the top speed is only about 40 mph, these vehicles would be perfect for tourists or travellers who left their own car behind. With more people moving into urban areas, and public transit systems increasingly crammed full of people, innovative transit solutions will become more and more important.
Personally, I think it’s a bit ridiculous and don’t think it will ever find a practical home, but maybe I’m wrong. But as implied above, I do think it is a cool toy. And some of the technology or concepts used in the foldable Armadillo-T could end up being useful for a commercial vehicle.