Toyota i-Road Makes Texan Debut
The Toyota i-Road is a quirky vehicle that’s been slowly making its way around the world. Last year, the automaker started consumer trials of its three-wheeled electric vehicle in Tokyo, and then began a car-sharing scheme using i-Roads in Grenoble, France. Back in February of this year, the first i-Road prototypes hit California, and then headed to Washington, DC, in April for test drives on Capitol Hill. Now, the unique concept vehicle has made it to Dallas, Texas, to allow potential customers to see it up close and personal.
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The i-Road appeared at the American Airlines center in Dallas last weekend alongside the COMS super-compact electric vehicle. A total of 65 participants were able to drive the vehicles and have their questions answered by representatives from Toyota. This not only helped the automaker spread the word about its futuristic models, but helped provide valid feedback from potential owners.
“As we look for ways to ease congestion in major hubs like the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, we are exploring how these types of electric vehicles may fit into the transportation landscape,” explained Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz. “We’re excited to show Texans where these advanced technologies could take us.”
Texas might not seem like the most obvious place to test a three-wheeled electric vehicle, but Toyota hopes to use the EV to address congestion issues in major cities around the globe, including Dallas. Starting next month, Japanese drivers will be able to get an i-Road on loan, while COMS EVs are already available for purchase. It’s too soon to tell whether these vehicles will ever be successful outside Japan, but Toyota will continue to test them on various markets until it gets a firm answer.