Toyota unveiled the new three-wheeled electric vehicle before the Geneva Motor Show (GMS 2013). The Toyota i-Road is only 850 mm wide and is designed for smooth driving on city streets. The three-wheeled i-Road is made to seat two people back to back underneath a weatherproof body. The i-Road can be driven without a helmet and Toyota says “the environment inside the cabin is car-like”.
The i-Road is 2350 mm in length, 1445 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 1700 mm. The narrow width means – four i-Roads can be parked in the single parking bay. The zero-emissions (all electric power train) use a lithium-ion battery that powers two 2kw motors mounted on the front wheel. The driving average is 30 miles. The battery can be fully charged from any conventional domestic power supply, that also in just three hours.
To balance the vehicle during cornering, a lean actuator and gearing has been mounted above the front suspension member, linked via a yoke to the left and right front tires. Toyota refers to this system as ‘The Active Lean’ technology. A gyro sensor supplies data to the ECU that calculates the required degree of lean based on steering angle, vehicle speed and other supplied information.
Toyota’s envision is people will take the public transportation for long distance travelling and once they are in the city, they will use the i-Road as it will be easy and environment healthy. Though Toyota has not revealed its cost or when the production will begin.
As per reports, “This design also permits for a more car-like situation, with the prospective for characteristics like lighting, heating, audio and connectivity to be given. Significantly, occupants–yes, 2 grownups can fit inside through tandem seating–don’t require wearing a helmet. The 3-wheeled i-Road is said to be 7.7 feet long, 4.7 lofty, 2.8 feet broad, and weighs just more than 660 pounds.”
The company has not brought up any production proposals but said that it could imagine i-Road-type vehicles substituting cars in active urban centers in the coming time.