Trials of the Toyota i-Road three-wheeled personal mobility vehicle have started in Tokyo. The carmaker says the first phase of real-world testing of the all-electric i-Road will determine how it copes in the urban environment.
A range of testers, including industry experts and the general public will run a fleet of ten i-Road vehicles, and will feed back information on what it's like to drive, how easy it is to use and driver satisfaction.
The i-Road is powered by two in-wheel electric motors, producing a combined output of 5.4bhp. It has a top speed of 45kph, with a range of just over 48km, if driven economically. Charging takes just over three hours from a standard domestic supply.
Measuring 2350mm long by 1445mm high and with a wheelbase of 1700mm, up to four i-Roads could be parked in a single standard car parking bay. The i-Road also includes Toyota's 'Active Lean' technolgy, which allows the vehicle to lean into corners according to information gathered from a gyro sensor.
A concept version of the i-Road was revealed at the Geneva motor show last year, but the test version has been adjusted to improve visibility and ease of use. Toyota says the 300kg i-Road should be "as nimble to handle in traffic as a scooter, but with car-like stability".
The company has confirmed up to 70 units of the two-seat i-Road will also begin testing in France later this year.