We’ve talked before about how the ‘last mile’ problem is one that all manufacturers want to solve. It’s an untapped and potentially very lucrative market. Once such contender for the solution is Toyota’s electric i-Road – a three-wheeled leaning tandem vehicle designed for quick and easy transportation within a city.
The i-Road is currently being tested in Japan as part of a ‘car-share’ scheme in Toyota City, Aichi. Operating in a similar way to bike-share schemes across the world, the i-Road is available to anyone who needs one to conquer the ‘last mile’ of their journey – where people need fast, reliable and green transportation from a transport hub to their final destination.
This week it was announced that 30 Toyota i-Roads will be making their way to the city of Grenoble, France to be used by residents and visitors as part of a new trial.
While it is not known if the i-Road will ever make it into production in the EU or the US, this roll out is good news that Toyota are interested in the future of this vehicle.
The i-Road is powered by two 2kW motors mounted on the front wheels. It is claimed that these are able to provide ‘brisk acceleration and near silent running’. The i-Road has a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h) and has a stated range of around 30 miles.
What makes the i-Road special is its active lean technology. The vehicle will tilt into corners, adjusting the vertical positioning of the front wheels to give a more ‘motorbike’ feel to the handling of the three-wheeled vehicle.
If any readers happen to live in or near Grenoble, France, please do let us know if you get to have a go in one!
What do you think of the i-Road? Is it something you would use? Should we add these to bike-share schemes in all cities? Do you think this is a silly form of transport? Let us know.
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