Concept cars must always be taken with a large pinch of salt, but if the battery-powered Toyota i-Road does ever go on sale it could be a good option for urban commuters who like the practicality of a scooter and the comfort of a car.
Like a motorcycle, at 85cm wide the electric i-Road is the perfect size to filter through traffic jams, but it seats its two occupants in a fully-enclosed and heated cabin. And just like a motorbike, the i-Road leans into corners.
Toyota says the i-Road would travel up to 30 miles at a speeds up to 28mph.
According to the Toyota, the feasibility of electric vehicles (EVs) is to serve as a main mode of transport for short urban journeys.
People using this kind of personal mobility vehicle (PMV) vehicle want something that is more comfortable, offers better weather protection and is safer than a two-wheeler such as a scooter or motorcycle, but has similar benefits of low running costs, easy parking and around-town manoeuvrability.”
The uptake of electric cars remains painfully slow, but they may yet find their niche as lightweight The Renault Twizy has been well received by motoring journalists, if not the buying public, because although it’s expensive, it does not try and compete directly with a conventional car. It is pitched as a lifestyle vehicle and is fun in a way that very few cars today can manage.
If people don’t use small motorcycles because they are considered dangerous and cold, enter the Lit C-1 – a fully-enclosed, steel-bodied scooter that uses gyroscopes to balance on two wheels, even when it’s at a standstill.
The stylish-looking, battery-powered C-1 boasts two-seats, side-impact bars and airbags.