- Hybrids, Electric & Alternate Energy Vehicles
Toyota's i-Road Three Wheel Micro Car
Toyota's i-Road is a concept car-slash-motorcycle with roof vehicle aimed at the town\urbanites. It really is quite cool, far-out, sic, boss, or bitchin. What makes this such an awesome concept is this three-wheeler (not like a Zip car) cannot be be tipped over.
The i-Road is all electric. It looks more like an enclosed motorcycle. This concept vehicle is currently being tested in real life situations in France. The car is only as wide as a large motorcycle but much taller and four of them can fit into a single car space in a parking lot. It has two seats, the driver seat is in the front and second, behind, although, it really is just for large packages. It measures just 33.5 inches wide, 56.9 inches high, and 92.5 inches long.
Like a car, it has two doors and the driver sits 10 inches off the ground and steers using an aircraft yoke. The driver feels more like being a glider with an LCD screen. The body is plastic. For power, the in-wheel electric motor has 2.7 hp that will allow you to zip to a top speed of 28 mph. When production starts, it will be able to go almost 40 mph. The battery is good for 30 miles.
While it seems like a cycle, inside, the car offers an audio system, windshield wiper and a headlight. The steering computer system makes invisible adjustments as you steer that allows you to take corners like a downhill skier shifting the car's weight and lean. You steer using the REAR wheel, not the usual front wheel. You can lean into a curve up to 30 degree angles. At slow speeds, it can turn in a 10 ft. circle. It is also very much like steering a bicycle and fun to drive. A computer figures out how much to turn the 10-inch rear wheel, only the rear wheel turns, the 16-inch front wheels don't.
One can see a market for this vehicle in tight, high density urban areas for sure. Even around smaller less urbanized areas where a commute is not more than 15 miles one way, for sure. The i-Road has the potential to have more than a 30 mile range as batteries become smaller and more potent.
Love it for under $9000.