The Toyota i-Road is a three-wheeled leaning road beast with room for two and an electric drivetrain, and best of all, Toyota is actually building it. This October, 70 Toyota i-Road trikes and COM compact EVs will help launch the Ha:Mo electric car sharing service in Grenoble, France.
This electric car sharing service is part of a three-year trial that will also include the installation of 30 charging stations across the area, and the integration of several smartphone apps that let you reserve one of the EVs and plan the most efficient route to your location. The idea is to help commuters save time on the first or last kilometer of their journeys, with public transportation serving to cover the medium-or-long-distance travel of daily commuters in Toyota’s vision of a “Smart City”.
Toyota will piggyback its car sharing system off of Grenoble’s decade-old car sharing service, one of the most successful in the country, and making the area more open to the idea of a short-range EV commuter. Whether or not there’s enough interest to sustain such a short-range car sharing system what the three-year trial aims to find out, though I can tell you personally, I’ve got a ton of interest in driving one of the i-Roads.
The i-Road looks like more fun than a glorified scooter ought to be capable of, and making it part of a car sharing scheme is a great way to gain more exposure for this unique concept.