In January of this year (source), Japanese car maker Toyota, teased the world press with a picture of a new electric vehicle they were planning to launch in Geneva, the i-Road. From the photo it looked like a three wheeler, with the passenger sitting pillion style (behind the driver) in a covered motorcycle. Not much else has been revealed, until now....
The i-Road is indeed a three wheeled motorcycle/car/vehicle, electrically driven with the passenger sitting behind the driver/rider. The motorcycle is narrow, narrow enough to split lanes with only 850 mm of width (length is 2350 mm and height is 1445 mm). It's immediate competitor is Renault's Twizy with 1230 mm of width, so far more narrow.
The i-Road has a tilting technology called "Active Lean" which, like the Piaggio MP3, allows the vehicles to take curves at an angle. The two front wheels are powered independently by a 2 kW electric engine each giving a range of 50 kph at a constant speed of 30 kph. It will take 3 hours to fully charge the batteries.
So this is not a vehicle to go for a long trip but a true commuter. It's meant for city folks who stay in the city. The Renault Twizy is selling nicely, many being sold to local utilities & government agencies. The i-Road could also fit in the bicycle sharing schemes many cities have around Europe currently, instead of sharing bicycles, you share an i-Road electric vehicle.
Click on the Via: link below for many more photos. The iRoad will become available somewhere in 2014, but not price has been published.
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