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Toyota i-Road EV Consumer Trials Begin in Tokyo

Toyota's bizarre i-Road electric vehicle, which debuted at last year's Geneva auto show, will be hitting the roads of Tokyo for a series of consumer trials that aim to determine the effectiveness of this three-wheeled personal mobility vehicle in urban settings.

These trials will include ten test vehicles distributed to 20 participants, who range from everyday consumers to automotive industry experts. Until early June, these test participants will use the Toyota i-Road in urban situations on public roads throughout the greater Tokyo area. Toyota will then collect feedback from these participants to see how users are satisfied with the Toyota i-Road in terms of driving feel and ease-of-use.

The Toyota i-Road concept that debuted last year seats two and features an interesting cornering system called Active Lean. This allows the narrow i-Road to lean in corners like a motorcycle, increasing its stability and smoothing out this tiny vehicle's ride. Since it only weighs 661 lbs and is very small, the i-Road is not meant for highway use, and its dual electric motors make for a top speed of 37 mph. Toyota will also be measuring how the i-Road affects users' destination choices, as this EV has a range of approximately 31 miles on a charge. The version of the Toyota i-Road that will be used in these trials is a slightly modified version of the concept i-Road, with better visibility, maneuverability, and even a choice of five colors.

Stay tuned for more news from Toyota as the company continues forward into its research on urban, ultra-compact, personal mobility vehicles.