Toyota i-ROAD: Cool front wheel drive electric three wheeler

Toyota i-ROAD: Cool front wheel drive electric three wheeler

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One way of being able to offer people cars that have zero emissions is with electric vehicles. The downside to this is that four wheeled electric vehicles can be expensive along with being on the heavy side. They are also not that good at nipping around through cities. Toyota however may have just come up with a solution to change this and it has the name of i-ROAD. This is a cool electric three wheeler concept which is a cross between a motorcycle, golf cart and car.

[Image Source: Toyota]

The i-ROAD is innovative new concept for a 3 wheel car and it can carry two people, one sat behind the other, meaning that the designers were able to keep the vehicle body as narrow as was possible. The i-ROAD measures just 33.5 inches wide, has a length of 92.5 inches and is 56.9 inches tall.

[Image Source: Toyota]

Along with offering a vehicle that is no wider than some of the beefier motorcycles on the road, the car provides protection from the elements, thanks to the body, which is fully enclosed. Another benefit to the fully enclosed cabin is that no helmet is needed. Toyota have included a trick in the set-up of the front wheels to help the car remain upright when it comes to rest, as of course the driver is unable to use a foot thanks to the body being closed.

[Image Source: Toyota]

The tech on the front wheels is what Toyota have termed Active Lean and is made up of a geared actuator which is fixed to the suspension arm of each of the car’s front wheels. When the car is traveling at low speeds, such as when going around a corner, a computer watches over the degree of the lean of the front wheels. When that angle increases on one wheel, the other one is lowered by the same amount. Thanks to the steering angle, gyroscope and the speed of the car which induces lean in corners, the car is kept steady at low speeds. This same system is able to filter road imperfections, which could otherwise upset the balance when traveling in a straight line at low speeds. Rather than have the traditional round steering wheel or handlebars, the i-ROAD has what Toyota call a “squircle-shaped” wheel.

[Image Source: Toyota]

Another surprise with the i-ROAD is the fact that this is a front drive electric vehicle, with no power being sent to the back wheel. The two front wheels comes with a 2.7-hp in-hub electric motor that is powered by a lithium-ion battery, which the wheels share, and which is said to offer a range of around 30 driving miles. Topping up the battery takes three hours, according to Toyota, when charged using a conventional domestic power supply. Toyota didn’t say whether this was European, US or Japanese standard.

[Image Source: Toyota]

The Toyota i-ROAD electric concept car is cool looking and there is no doubt that it would offer a driving experience that is unique. We can see it being popular in Japan and Europe, more than the US, if Toyota should decide to produce it. This is due to the fact that urban roads tend to be more congested and emission regulations are generally tight.

[Image Source: Toyota]