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Toyota’s i-Road set for trial in France


FIRST appearing at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show in Tokyo, and later displayed as a concept at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Toyota’s all-electric compact three-wheeler, i-Road, has made its way to Grenoble in France.

A partnership was formed between Toyota, the City of Grenoble, Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, the EDF Group and Citélib, to make urban mobility of the future in the French city a reality, by October, this year.

Toyota launched the pilot project, supplying 70 vehicles for the scheme that’s designed to work alongside public transport networks, offering a “last mile” solution to cover the journey from the bus or train station to the handler’s final destination. The project makes use of the two-seater i-Road concept and the one-person COMS.

With the advantages of motorcycle handling and being narrow in size, it has the benefit of an enclosed cabin while retaining the stability and comfort of an ordinary car.

The vehicle measures in at 2 345mm in length and 1 455mm in height, making it a quarter size of the average car. It contains two electric motors running on a Lithium-ion battery, while being able to reach a top speed of 56km/h. On a single charge, the i-Road will be able to cover a distance of 50 kilometres, travelling at a steady speed of 30km/h. The comparison to the motorcycle further comes in with the Active Lean technology whereby the vehicle automatically leans during cornering.

Toyota aims to see how different modes of public and personal transport can be interconnected in urban centres, while also hoping to gain insight into people’s attitudes towards car sharing and their priorities.

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