The Toyota i-Road, an innovative blend of car and a motorcycle...
July 01 2016, Marie-Andrée Boisvert
In 2013, Toyota launched the i-Road, a fully electric car with a power range of 35 to 50 kilometres, first on the streets of Tokyo and later in Europe for testing. In the maze of city life, it appears that the i-Road may well make its way in the coming years.
The i-Road: What is it?
First, it should be noted that the i-Road is a fully electric prototype of a personal mobility vehicle. Equipped with 3 wheels, it’s a cross between a car and a motorcycle. It’s the rear wheel that turns to steer the vehicle by manipulating a traditional steering wheel. Where it comes close to a motorcycle is in its driving performance. Whenmaking a turn, the vehicle leans toward where you direct it through an integrated system.
The i-Road is primarily a city car with a range of between 35 and 50 kilometres. Moreover, its maximum speed is 50 km/h, reminiscent of a scooter. However, it has the advantage of being equipped with a roof in case of rain and a small rear space to carry things around.
Currently being tested in Europe
Although the Toyota i-Road is still not being widely marketed, the Japanese manufacturer chose Grenoble in France to test the market. In fact, 35 i-Roads are available to the population through a Bixi style car-sharing system. A mobile app allows people to locate available vehicles and rent them at a low price (1 Euro for 15 minutes) to travel around. If the trials are successful, Toyota intends to bring the i-Road to market in the coming years.
Coming soon to Quebec?
Don’t think you’ll be seeing the i-Road on our roads soon: This vehicle wasn’t designed for our climate. However, Toyota Canada has placed the i-Road on its website under the heading Future Vehicles: toyota.ca/toyota/en/future-vehicles/i-road. We can only hope...
Finally, the i-Road demonstrates the expertise of Toyota engineers and the future of the single-seat vehicle that will likely be available in the next decade.