The wacky, three-wheeled Toyota i-Road we saw in Geneva earlier this year will be heading to production. But before you run down to your local Toyota dealer looking for one of these all-electric "personal mobility" vehicles, chances are, you'll never actually see one unless you visit Japan.

Announced at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) expo last week, Toyota said that the i-Road would be used as a part of the Ha:Mo car-sharing system in Japan. Weighing in at around 661 pounds, with a 28-mile-per-hour top speed and a two-passenger seating arrangement, the i-Road seems more like a fully enclosed scooter than a car, but it does offer a 30-mile driving range and has a nifty articulating front suspension that leans into corners. As for Ha:Mo, Toyota says that the number of cars in the program will increase from 10 prior to October 1 to 100 by the middle of this month, and the number of stations will almost double from 13 up to 21. Toyota has more details about the car and Ha:Mo in the press release posted below.
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Toyota City Optimized Urban Transport System to Expand
TMC to Exhibit 'Toyota i-Road' Personal Mobility Concept Car at CEATEC Japan 2013

Toyota City, Japan, September 26, 2013-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that it will expand the "Ha:mo"1 optimized urban transport system undergoing operational trials in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture since October 2012. The expansion will take effect on October 1.

In addition, TMC will exhibit the "Toyota i-Road" personal mobility concept car, which is to be introduced for use in the Ha:mo system, at the Cutting-edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC) Japan 2013 to be held at the Makuhari Messe international convention complex in Chiba City from October 1 to 5.

Ha:mo, a collective name, is an urban transport system designed to provide transport that is amenable to users, cities and society as a whole by optimally combining personal mobility vehicles such as automobiles with public transportation. The system comprises "Ha:mo Ride", a compact electric vehicle sharing service that meets the need for short-distance urban transport, and the provision of multi-modal routing information on optimal means of transportation taking into consideration both total carbon dioxide emissions and convenience according to current road conditions and public transportation operating status.

Ha:mo System Changes

1. Increase in number of ride-sharing vehicles
Forty-five additional Toyota Auto Body-produced "COMS" car-sharing electric vehicles will be added to the current fleet of 10 on October 1, and the total number of vehicles will be increased to 100 by mid-October2. In addition, vehicle access and operation will be made keyless.
Fifty-two Yamaha Motor "PAS" power-assisted bicycles will be added to the current fleet of 10 units on October 1, with plans calling for the fleet to expand to 100 units.
TMC will further develop the Toyota i-Road personal mobility concept car as a one-seater electric vehicle and introduce it for use in the Ha:mo system in around early 2014. With an ultra-compact package offering the convenience of a motorcycle and a new type of driving pleasure, the Toyota i-Road is expected to fulfill a wide range of user needs.

2. Increase in number of vehicle stations
The number of vehicle stations where users can rent and return vehicles will be increased in stages from the current total of four locations, adding 13 locations on October 1 and further increase to 21 locations by mid-October.
The new stations will be located near main train stations, major public facilities, commercial facilities and TMC offices in Toyota City where use by large numbers of commuters is expected. One-way use between vehicle stations, one of the key features of Ha:mo Ride that meets the needs of diverse users, will continue.

3. Trials of Fee-based Sharing Service
To verify the effectiveness and commercial feasibility of the sharing service, a use-based fee system will be introduced on October 1, with no membership or monthly charges. For the COMS, the fee will be 200 yen for the first 10 minutes of use and 20 yen for each additional minute thereafter.
A supply-and-demand fee system, including discounts for round trips, will be introduced in mid-November to improve the distribution of vehicles at certain stations. Use trends will be identified and the relationship between fee levels and use frequency will be investigated.

4. Greater convenience through provision of multi-mode route information
The addition of Ha:mo Ride service information to the multi-modal route guidance will enable the suggestion of new route options using Ha:mo Ride in cases where vehicle stations are located in the vicinity of the departure or destination.
Users will be able to make reservations to use Ha:mo Ride easily by accessing the Ha:mo Ride smart phone application from a linked icon on the route.
To increase the convenience of bus use, the system will be linked to a Hitachi, Ltd.-developed integrated bus operations management system to enable riders to easily access a list of the schedules and routes of multiple bus companies.
To enable the service to act as a regional traffic information portal, plans call for the addition of certain functions and information, such as push-type notifications of predicted traffic congestion along registered user routes as well as a route recommendation function and weekly traffic congestion forecasts that encourage the use of different roads and transportation methods.

5. Increase in number of Ha:mo members
In conjunction with the increase in vehicles and vehicle stations, the number of members is aimed to rise from the current approximate total of 100 to approximately 1,000. A one-month campaign (including a reduced base fee) will start on October 1 to promote the benefits of membership to a wide range of users.
Length 2,350 mm
Width 850 mm
Height 1,445 mm
Wheel base 1,700 mm
Vehicle weight
(without occupants or cargo)
300 kg
Tire size Front: 80/80R16
Rear: 130/70R10
Capacity Two
Minimum turning radius 3.0 m
Powertrain Electric motors (2kw × 2)
Maximum speed 45 km/h*1
Cruising range on a single
charge
50 km*2
Battery Lithium-ion battery
*1European specifications; *2Target cruising range at a constant speed of 30 km/h


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      waetherman
      • 1 Year Ago
      This would be such a great city car/station car - I really wish they would put it in to full production and sell it. I guess Japan-only production is a good first step, but I want them here!
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      They look like great fun to drive! I bet you could do great business renting these in popular tourist destinations.
      PeterScott
      • 1 Year Ago
      I really think it could be a nifty city-scooter. But 45 km/h top speed seems quite low. Staying off the highway, I still hit 80 KM/h roads on the way to even my closest grocery store.
        wilkegm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PeterScott
        I would be surprised if the 45km/h top speed weren't intentional to undercut some safety regs.
      offib
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota said it'll also mass produce the Toyota/Scion IQ EV...
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Needs a minimum of a 100 mile range and a 80 mph top speed to be viable in the US.
      RomanM
      • 1 Year Ago
      I want one, but gas powered, can do highway speeds and for less than 10k. Actually, if the parking for it will be $200/month as opposed to $500/month, I'll buy it no matter what speed it goes.
      danfred311
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think that's a mistake. A complex solution for little gain. Poor emergency maneuverability. I think it will sell poorly, maybe very poorly if they price it as cluelessly as I expect they will.
        Txdesign
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred311
        How do you know the maneuverability is poor? I bet it turns and stops on a dime.
          danfred311
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Txdesign
          it leans into a turn like a motorcycle which means course change takes a while.
        MistyGreen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred311
        Ha! At its speeds and size, this thing will be a whole lot LESS of a hazard to pedestrians and such than its 4-wheeled counterparts. Emergency maneuverability first of all will be fine, and second of all, won't need to be nearly as good with this vehicle.
      Goahead
      • 1 Year Ago
      Another lazy way not to burn calories and not using a bicycle found!
      Nick
      • 1 Year Ago
      I really like it, but it looks like they were building a car and then about halfway through they were like "eh, **** it." I bet It would be fun to whip around in.
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can you imagine if that thing got hit by a Suburban? Too bad it'll never get approved for American roads.
        Txdesign
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        Japan only. It will be surrounded by tons of pedestrians and slightly bigger cars.
        JChan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        Which is unfortunate because this could make a lot of sense in dense American cities where there are not many oversized vehicles or space for a 2nd car. It's essentially a motorcycle for people who don't want to deal with the elements.
      yjbeach
      • 1 Year Ago
      The carver has been doing this in Europe for years.
      dragonyee
      • 1 Year Ago
      Real neat. But sure could use more power. It doesn\'t seem to have enough power to get out of it\'s own way.
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