Toyota Debuts 2-Seat i-Road

2 years ago by Mark Kane 30

2-Seat Toyota i-Road

2-Seat Toyota i-Road

2-Seat Toyota i-Road

2-Seat Toyota i-Road

Toyota, between breaks between introducing the hydrogen fuel cell Mirai here and there, has improved its all-electric three-wheeler, the i-Road.

The latest update consists of adding a second seat – judging by the size of the vehicle, probably not a full size seat.

Several 2-seaters will now be used in new trials in Japan.

“Toyota will begin Japan-based trials of a two-seater version of the i-Road, its short-range ultra-compact electric vehicle. The trials will be conducted as a part of the Open Road Project launched in July, and will start on November 21 in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward.

While currently in use as part of a Toyota test project in Grenoble, France, the two-seater model has now received type certification from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, making it eligible for use in Japan.

The vehicles will be loaned for periods of approximately one month to users who plan to use them for two-passenger applications. By testing the vehicles in a variety of day-to-day situations such as commuting, shopping, and dropping off and picking up children, Toyota will assess the value of the i-Road in different capacities, including its potential to meet mobility needs that are not currently met.

In order to meet the Japanese government’s type certification requirements, some aspects of the one-occupant vehicle were modified to make two-occupant use viable. These modifications included changes to reflectors and vehicle-width indicators, and the addition of an Approaching Vehicle Audible System.

The municipal government of Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward has expressed interest in the convenience of the i-Road, and will conduct the trials with Toyota in an effort to study the possibility of community-based development for the future.”

Overview of the Open Road Project
  1. Purpose and objectives
  • New categories of mobility such as the i-Road require not only enhancement of the appeal of the vehicle itself, but also simultaneous planning and development of products and services that can even further enhance convenience and marketability.
  • Toyota will conduct planning and development with companies that possess a diverse range of technologies, in addition to loaning the i-Road to general consumers. The company will also engage in other undertakings with companies and consumers to create even better products with the aim of developing an urban environment that can make the most of the i-Road’s strengths.
  1. Trial period
Approximately one year starting in July 2015 and ending in June 2016
  1. Trial areas
Primarily Shibuya and Minato Wards
  1. Number of vehicles
10 vehicles
(starting on November 21, six one-seater vehicles and four two-seater vehicles)
  1. Users
General consumers (living in central Tokyo) as well as experts and creators. Toyota sought to recruit approximately 100 test drivers over the course of the year but as of the end of October, some 2,600 people have applied.
  1. Main services
  • “Small Space Parking” (exclusive parking spots)
    A service that makes use of the i-Road’s small size to use as parking spots narrow and empty spaces in city centers that are generally not used. Vehicle charging will be possible at some of the spots.
  • “Road Kitchen” (parts customization)
    Test drivers can customize the i-Road by making original front parts and cup holders using a 3D printer.

In another part of the globe, we see that single-seat version was recently presented at the Los Angeles Auto Show:

Toyota i-Road at the 2015 LA Auto Show

Toyota i-Road at the 2015 LA Auto Show

Toyota i-Road at the 2015 LA Auto Show

Toyota i-Road at the 2015 LA Auto Show

Toyota i-Road at the 2015 LA Auto Show

Toyota i-Road at the 2015 LA Auto Show

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30 responses to "Toyota Debuts 2-Seat i-Road"

  1. kdawg says:

    That’s a 100% improvement in seat amounts!

    (how Toyota does stats)

    1. Phoghat says:

      I’ve seen that second seat, and because of it’s size, I’d say it was only about a 40% improvement.

  2. Ash09 says:

    Wait, I thought Toyota vehemently denounced plug-in vehicles as expensive, outdated and impractical?

    1. philip d says:

      This is their example to attempt to prove to the world that EVs are only practical as goofy, urban two seaters and that Hydrogen fuel cells are the future.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        +100

      2. Rick Danger says:

        + another 100

      3. Speculawyer says:

        Exactly.

      4. heisenberght says:

        Well let them try 😉

        We already have the proof that EV’s are practical as a long-range-high-performance-sedan.

        But looking at Japan, I guess that this car would be a nice way to solve that problem that big cities have: People use cars, which are unpractical in a city. Maybe Toyota tries to show us a solution for parking troubles and congestion?

        Imagine a city with autonomous i-roads which are not owned but used on demand! What would we do with all that free space???

    2. alain says:

      well this looks expensive and impractical!

    3. offib says:

      They really do this to just mock us and the whole concept of plug-ins.

  3. Chip says:

    “While currently in use as part of a Toyota test project in Grenoble, France, the two-seater model has now received type certification making it eligible for use in Japan”.

    The 2 seat version is not new – it has been available in Grenoble.

    What is new is just that the two seat version has been type certified for road use in Japan.

  4. Tom says:

    I saw this contraption at the LA Auto Show. I didn’t see any room behind the “pilot” for a passanger. I’ll look at my photos again. In any case, there wasn’t much room for one person either….

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      The i-Road on display in LA is a one-seater

  5. mhpr262 says:

    “Short range vehicle” – no s***, the range isn’t mentioned in the article and the description for a good reason. I vaguely recall an absolutely ridiculous number, around 16 miles. That is not enough even for pure inner-city commuting.

      1. Samwise says:

        Which is about twice my daily commute.
        Reasonably priced I’d take one of these in a heart beat, they look great fun and extremely easy to park, while still keeping the occupant nice and dry in a storm.

      2. heisenberght says:

        That’s quite a lot for a city-car!

        The best thing is that this thing could turn a 2-lane-street into a 4 lane-street at virtually no cost. All cities with congestion/parking problems should consider the introduction of a “narrow-vehicle-lane”…

        However, Toyota seems to hold this thing back. We cannot buy it.

        And most importantantly people are too much brainwashed that they “need” a big car.

  6. Rick Danger says:

    Tesla should paint a Model S Godzilla green and send it out to prowl the streets of Tokyo.

  7. Speculawyer says:

    I think Toyota is just trying to mock EVs with this weirdmobile. I look forward to your demise, Toyota.

    1. heisenberght says:

      You might be right.

      However, why the heck is it weird to drive a small car when the city streets are congested every morning and evening. Why is it weird to drive a small car when you waste days of your life on the search for a parking spot?

      Ain’t it more weird to believe (like most of us do, including myself…) that we “need” a big car, pushing out of our mind that with that approach we just make things more complicated for ourselves?

  8. martinwinlow says:

    At least it’s got ‘proper’ doors with windows – unlike Renault’s Twizy! MW

    1. kosee says:

      Yeah instead of intentions let’s compare abilities. If the price is the same it’s a way better vehicle then then the twizy.

  9. Anon says:

    Looks like a stretched Segway with a canopy. 😛

  10. DNAinaGoodWay says:

    Looks like a Twizzy, which is already in Quebec.

    1. finecadmin says:

      Except it sure doesn’t handle like one.

  11. Brian F. says:

    A three wheeled enclosed commuter car/bike thing could do very well in developing countries if the cost is around the same as a motorcycle. A lighter and safer commuter vehicle could reduce traffic, pollution and give people more freedom to move about than mass transit.

    http://www.commutercars.com/

    http://www.carver-technology.com/

  12. Dave says:

    I don’t know… with the Elio Motors 2 seater about to come out.. making an electric version of a 2 seater may make things interesting!

    1. Phoghat says:

      I put down a small deposit way in the beginning. Sort of like putting a bet down in Vegas, money I could afford to possibly lose.
      With all the delays, and the rumors of more to come, and the fact that current monies are going to build more prototypes, not actual consumer ready cars, I’m starting to have doubts that Elio will ever be ready.
      I had great hopes for the Aptera also, and you see what happened with them

  13. Kai says:

    For me this is very cool looking and very practical suburban vehicle. It’s so small you can park it anywhere. Most commutes are done by four seat car but only a single person is in the car… That’s just stupid! Half of adult population in my country are singles but all the cars are sized for a four person families.

    Why should we use over 1000 kilo cars to carry our 80 kg asses around? It would be wiser to use 500 kg cars with just two seats. Or just one.

    Also has smaller aerodynamic drag and it’s more light weight than a car, meaning the range is much better than on electric a motorcycle or a car.

    I have a electric velomobile and the range is just mindblowingly long considering it has only a 6 kg battery. 160 km range at 50 km/h

  14. G-Money says:

    The 1+1 vehicle used to be the norm. It was a horse of course.