Armadillo-T electric car rolls up like its namesake
By Ben Coxworth
August 20, 2013
It’s time for the Hiriko and Casple-Podadera to fold themselves up and make room, as yet another folding electric car has been created. This one, known as the Armadillo-T, comes from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). As with the other two cars, it’s designed to "fold" (sort of) when not in use, in order to minimize the amount of parking space that it occupies.
The concept car features four in-wheel motors, powered by a 13.6-kWh battery pack located in the front. This feature not only allows for more interior space, but it also means that the motors and battery can stay in place when the car folds.
In its unfolded form, the 450-kg (992-lb) vehicle measures 2.8 meters (110 inches) long. However, by tucking in the rear section of its body (sort of rolling itself up, like an armadillo) it reduces that length to 1.65 meters (65 inches). This would let three of the cars fit within one standard Korean 5-meter (16.4-foot) parking spot.
That said, how would you get those three cars in there? Using their smartphone, drivers can remotely control the car, getting it to fold itself up and execute 360-degree turns. This would allow them to squeeze it in and out of tight spaces, which it couldn’t otherwise fit into.
Besides its ability to mimic a desert-dwelling mammal, the Armadillo-T can also manage a top speed of 60 km/h (37 mph) and travel up to 100 km (62 miles) on one 10-minute fast charge.
There’s no word at this point on plans to commercialize the car. The T in its name, incidentally, comes from the Ford Model T – another pioneering vehicle.
The Armadillo-T can be seen in action in the video below.