Toyota has been seriously investing in Battery Electric Vehicles BEV, as they push for a stronger presence in the EV industry even as the world is moving towards an era devoid of fossil fuel-powered vehicles. One of its most appealing BEV offering, the Toyota i-ROAD is one ride that should really interest you and me.
Toyota says the i-ROAD is more of a short-distance mobility solution, which is more like a motorcycle in terms of size but comes with a suspension system that is similar to that you find in cars. Yes, while it doesn't have the range of a flying car, this can still get you to point B in style.
Check out how the i-ROAD performs on the road in this video:
Toyota i-ROAD test drive
1. Wheels and suspension
The i-ROAD comes with three wheels, two in front and one bigger wheel behind. Toyota calls the suspension system on the front wheels the Active Lean Suspension, which allows the two front wheels to move independently. The i-ROAD is designed in such a way that it leans over whenever the driver takes a bend or tries to take a corner.
This feature is made possible as a result of the two front wheels being able to shift on their suspensions. So when you are taking a bend, you will notice that one wheel seems to slide forward leaving the other wheel in its natural position.
The i-ROAD comes with the Active Lean system for improving stability and control
2. Interior and exterior facts
When it comes to the interior, the seat is just fine for a motorcycle but offers improved support and comfort. The steering is the standard steering wheel you find on most Toyota built saloon cars with the dashboard area offering a standard USB port for charging your mobile devices. The I-ROAD's body is built with plastic and is said to weigh just about 660 lbs. The i-ROAD is so designed that you are isolated from the outside with window panes and a top area that is dressed with canopy. You also have windscreen wipers incorporated especially for the rainy season.
The i-ROAD comes with standard steering wheels like what you find in normal cars
3. Power and performance
One the power side, the i-ROAD comes with a lithium-ion electric battery pack that holds as much as 30 miles of electric charge before you will need to recharge. But to recharge it, you will need a 120-volt electric source as a recommendation for the battery to reach a full charge in 3 hours. However, you may still use electric sources with lower power rating but you should expect that it will take longer than 3 hours to reach full charge. The i-ROAD is front wheels driven, with both wheels being powered by a 2 KW electric motors, supporting the BEV to a top speed of 37 mph.
On the performance side, the i-ROAD comes with a software-controlled traction control system that makes sure the i-ROAD gets adequate road grip even on wet and slippery surfaces, especially noticed during and after rainfall. Also, the i-ROAD comes with an internal safety mechanism that warns the driver if he exceeds the allowed speed limit, especially when taking a turn. The driver will notice the steering wheels vibrating to warn him/her of the dangers of continuing at such speeds, even as the sonar sensors help in stability and balancing.
The i-ROAD is powered by its two front wheels
The rear wheels also turn to offer extra turning radius at the rear