The biggest problems plaguing electric vehicle sales seems to be that troublesome trio of limited range, long charging times, and high cost. But much of those problems stems from the fact that manufacturers insist on building electric cars that resemble their gasoline-guzzling counterparts too closely. The thing is, a pure electric vehicle isn’t usable as a regular car. An EV’s relatively short range and long charging times mean that, barring some kind of battery miracle in the near future, these will be commuter cars for some time to come. And because EVs now and in the foreseeable future will continue to fall short of gasoline-powered cars, Toyota has apparently decided to accept that fate (at least for now) and build its latest EV concept with those limitations in mind.
The concept is called the i-Road, and although all we know so far about the design comes from this overhead shot, it really tells us a lot. We can see that it is very narrow, has only one windshield wiper and likely has just two seats in a tandem arrangement. And because it’s seemingly small , lightweight, and would likely use a smaller battery pack — which in turn would translate into shorter charging times and a lower cost — the i-Road could very well sport a range that is the same or better than a more “carlike” EV.
As Diseno-art reports, Toyota has said it is a “compact, fun and emissions-free personal mobility concept, designed to offer quick and efficient urban transport for two people.” It might also be a three-wheeler, although that would be quite a bold move for a company as conservative as Toyota. The concept will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, at which time we will be able to bring you something more definitive than wild speculation.