Toyota Brings Futuristic E-Trike to Reality
GENEVA, Switzerland – The boundaries between (engine powered or electric) two-wheelers and other mobility concepts are steadily fading. The futuristic Toyota i-ROAD trike underlines that once more. It debuted last year at the Geneva Car Show. It was back this year, but in a production-ready version.
With a width of just 850mm, the i-ROAD is barely wider than any other scooter or motorcycle. With Toyota’s ‘Active Lean’ technology the three-wheeled scooter automatically balances while cornering, reminiscent to Piaggio’s MP3. But this Toyota is different, because i-ROAD’s steering takes place with the rear wheel.
It operates completely electric with two 2kW electric motors mounted in the front wheels. A big Lithium-Ion battery is supplying the power for a 50 kilometer range. Recharging takes place in 3 hours.
Gap between e-bikes and e-cars
The Toyota i-ROAD is an example of how automakers intend to fill the gap that exists between electric bicycles and electric cars. For that they focus on emission-free and noiseless vehicles that offer individual urban transport.
Problems yet to be solved
However, how people living in apartment buildings have to recharge the i-ROAD battery and can safely park their 3-wheeled roofed e-scooter, are problems yet to be solved. Is with that in mind the i-ROAD better suited for car sharing systems? It isn’t probably without reason that exactly this is featured in the i-ROAD film below. Prices and when available at the Toyota dealers isn’t made public yet.
The majority of the Urban Bicycle Community has no real conception of just how completely their notions about bicycles are ‘out-dated‘. Automobile manufacturers are building what recumbent riders normally think of as velomobiles. These are the bicycles of the future. Yes they can be made to rely solely on human power. In fact the term Human Powered Vehicle is really an attempt to coin a term that has meaning in a world where the cruising speed of merely bicycles is in the high 30 MPH range.
What these vehicles will bring is a new category of green transport. They will be largely electric assist in design and completely enclosed to make them suitable for the kinds of weather we get here in the Midwest. These will be year round vehicles which have all the amenities of a small automobile with few of the drawbacks.
Get ready to have your minds blown my Urban Cyclist friends. Your current crop of Protected Bike Lanes will be made utterly obsolete by these types of vehicles.