Consumer Trials of Toyota i-Road Now Underway in Tokyo
Fresh off the news heralding the 70 vehicle expansion of Toyota’s i-Road car sharing test program to France, comes the news that Toyota will expand its test fleet at home in Japan past just being a “last mile” transportation solution.
Instead of being a communal car available to the masses, Toyota will be handing out 10 of the futuristic three-wheeled trikes to just 20 local residents of the Greater Tokyo Area to test the usefulness of the 60 km/h (37 mph) top speed LSV in a city/urban setting.
“The i-Road offers a novel riding experience, combining the convenience of a motorcycle with the comfort and stability of a car. The i-Road to be used in the consumer trial in Tokyo is based on the model shown as a concept at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013, but is now available in five colors and features improved visibility, ease-of-use and maneuverability.”
Although the results are yet to come; and while it’s fine that there is now a color palette to chose from, we can’t help but feel that Toyota’s decision to change the 30 mile range EV’s passenger capacity from two seats in concept form to a single rider in production is going to seriously cut down on the usability of the nifty runabout as a personal mobility solution.
Toyota has yet to give a reason for this change, but we feel it is probably regulatory in nature given the small fleet sizing.