|i-Roads on the road. Click to enlarge.|
More i-Roads in Toyota City will be made available to residents at vehicle-sharing stations. Later this year, i-Road vehicles will be part of a vehicle-sharing project in Grenoble, France, that will last until 2017.
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013, the i-Road seats two in tandem and under cover, and has a range of up to 30 miles (50 km) 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 all-electric powertrain uses a lithium-ion battery to power two 2 kW motors mounted in the front wheels, giving brisk acceleration and near-silent running. The battery can be fully recharged from a conventional domestic power supply in three hours.
Toyota’s Active Lean 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.
The system also operates when the PMV is being driven in a straight line over stepped surfaces, the actuator automatically compensating for changes in the road to keep the body level. The minimum turning circle is just three meters.