Marc Carter

i-ROAD: Toyota Unveils Three-Wheeled All-Electric Vehicle Ahead of Geneva Motor Show

by , 03/04/13

Toyota, Toyota i-ROAD concept, 2013 Geneva Motor Show, personal electric vehicle, green transportation, green car, lithium-ion battery, electric motor

Toyota just unveiled its new i-ROAD concept – an all-electric three-wheeled trike that is set to debut this week at the Geneva Motor Show. Toyota says that the two-seater i-ROAD is the perfect vehicle for city streets. It offers the same low running costs, easy parking and around-town maneuverability as a motorcycle or scooter, but its fully enclosed interior makes it a safer alternative.

Toyota, Toyota i-ROAD concept, 2013 Geneva Motor Show, personal electric vehicle, green transportation, green car, lithium-ion battery, electric motor

Seating two in tandem and under cover, i-ROAD is an electric vehicle with a range of up to 30 miles on a single charge. Using ‘Active Lean’ technology, it is safe, intuitive and enjoyable to drive, with no need for driver or passenger to wear a helmet. The ultra-compact, three-wheel i-ROAD is only 92 inches long and 57 inches high and only 35 inches wide. The i-ROAD concept is no wider than a conventional two-wheeler, which means four can be parked in a single parking bay.

The i-ROAD concept is powered by an all-electric powertrain that uses a lithium-ion battery to power two 2kW motors mounted in the front wheels. Driving range is around 30 miles, after which the battery can be fully recharged from a conventional domestic power supply in three hours.

Toyota has created a new intuitive Active Lean system is the key to i-ROAD’s high levels of stability, safety, comfort and fun-to-drive character. The system uses a lean actuator and gearing mounted above the front suspension member, linked via a yoke to the left and right front wheels. An ECU calculates the required degree of lean based on steering angle, gyro-sensor and vehicle speed information, with the system automatically moving the wheels up and down in opposite directions, applying lean angle to counteract the centrifugal force of cornering. No special skills are needed to drive the i-ROAD since the Active Lean system offers a unique driving experience with the enjoyment of riding a two-wheeler, but with no need for the driver to stabilize the vehicle when at low speeds or when stationary.

Toyota sees the i-ROAD concept has the potential to play a significant role in reducing urban traffic congestion and air pollution.

+ Toyota

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3 Comments

  1. FunRide007 March 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Toyota has a great concept (Narrow, Enclosed, Tilting, Commuter); BUT its limited performance (30 mi. range, 28mph speed) severely limits its practicality and marketability in today’s society. While less than 30mph might be OK for a city center; getting there on 45-55mph roads would be impractical and dangerous. Most city dwellers live in apartments and high rises and would find parking, storing and recharging impractical. Might be good for a “Car Sharing” business. Now if Toyota could come up with an i-Road-2 with 100 mile range and a top speed of 65-75mph, then they would have the “Commuter of the Future” for suburbanites , and would sell hundreds of thousands; I know I’d buy one!

  2. GripperDon March 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Add: Air Conditioning and a Inflatable SeatBelt and your have got a viable concept, set the price right and you have a product. !

  3. voyager March 5, 2013 at 5:54 am

    So many companies came up with tilting vehicle concepts: VandenBrink, Nissan, KTM, Naro Car Co. Actually, they are all flawed. They are either unappealing geriatric-looking ‘creatures’ from a product design point of view and/or unsafe for the passengers if you compare them to small cars. About time someone came up with a true successor to that almost forgotten transportation mode from the Fifties the Germans brought us in the form of the Isetta, Heinkel and Messerschmitt. Well, actually someone already did. Check out newisetta.com

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