Around Asia: Korea unveils folding “armadillo car”

In Other News - September 5th, 2013

Rapid economic growth has turned nations like South Korea into a brimming urban jungle.

With crowded cities and congested traffic now a problem for the East Asian nation, South Korean researchers may just have the right answer: a space-saving two-seater electric car.

Research fellows at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology introduced the “Armadillo-T”, which could solve everyday problems for urban spaces.

With a click on a smartphone, the prototype electric car will fold nearly in half, allowing it to park in previously inaccessible spaces.

The Armadillo-T, the name borrowed from the South American animal which rolls up when threatened by a predator, can halve its body length to just 1.65 meters (65 inches).

“They can be parked in every corner of the street and buildings, be [they] apartments, shopping malls or supermarkets,” said Suh In-soo, a professor at KAIST.

Moreover, the car can travel 100km (62 miles) on a 10-minute charge and has a maximum speed of 60 km per hour (37 miles per hour).

The prototype, however, will wait for years before it graces South Korean roads because it does not meet certain mandatory criteria, such as withstanding crashes.

By: Maisie Bertumen

Image: Linda Hoover/Flickr