A whole host of new and exciting vehicles are to be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show and Toyota's i-ROAD personal mobility vehicle could generate the most excitement.
The two-seater i-ROAD vehicle is powered by electricity and can travel for 30 miles on one charge. Unlike many other personal mobility vehicles, the i-ROAD, which has three wheels, has a roof and its inhabitants are not required to wear a helmet while using it.
The i-ROAD is an option for those people wanting to travel in style while still doing their bit for the environment and this latest offering from Toyota refelcts the company's attempts to create a fleet of eco-friendly vehicles in the near future.
This ambition is well and truly on the cards as Toyota has adapted its Hybrid Synergy Drive technology to be used in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.
The i-ROAD is said to be great for travelling around busy city roads as it measures a compact 235cm long and 144.5cm high. Given that it is only 85cm wide, it is as conventional and manoeuvrable as most scooters or motorcycles, yet it is safer to drive, has low running costs and is easy to park.
The vehicle uses a lithium-ion battery to power two 2kW motors which are situated on the front wheels, which allows for a smooth, silent ride and impressive acceleration. While the vehicle can only travel 30 miles on one charge, the battery can be recharged within three hours to allow for multiple journeys on the same day.
The i-ROAD is fitted with a closed chassis that provides better protection from bad weather and other vehicles. This design makes the vehicle feel more like a car and also features lighting, heating, audio and Bluetooth.
Toyota's Active Lean technology ensures that the i-ROAD is stable, safe, comfortable and, perhaps more importantly, fun to drive. The system consists of a lean actuator and gearing mounted above the front suspension which is linked to the front wheels.
An engine control unit calculates how much lean in required by monitoring the steering angle, a gyro-sensor and how fast the vehicle is travelling. The system moves the wheels up and down to apply the appropriate lean angle to ensure that the vehicle takes corners in a comfortable manner.
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