Toyota i-Road Car-Sharing Program Expands to Grenoble in October

Toyota i-Road and COMS 1 photo
Photo: Toyota
Toyota started testing it’s new i-Road ultra light EV in Japan about two months ago, to see if it will adapt to real traffic conditions. It seems they succeeded because the project is now expanding to Europe, with Grenoble being the first city to support this sort of car-charing program.
Grenoble, France, is known for being an innovative city, with its famous “Presqu’île” science park being home to prestigious institutions and companies such as the CEA and ST Microelectronics. This also put it on the list for being transformed into one of the firs smart cities through advanced communication and green, efficient ways of transportation.

Toyota just started a collaboration with local companies like EDF and Citelib to install around 30 charging stations around the city and deploy 70 ultralight electric vehicles this fall to be used in the actual car-sharing program.

The Japanese automaker will actually provide two types of its small EVs - the new i-Road leaning three-wheeler and the slightly older COMS single seater 4-wheeler.

How will this work? Well, imagine you live on the outskirts of the town and you need to reach your office located somewhere in the center. You get up, take the tram and during the ride you simply flick your smartphone and use a simple app to reserve and pay for an i-ROAD you can take from where you get off.

Another app will provide traffic data so you’ll also know which route to take and arrive on time at work. There, you’ll leave the EV in its designated parking space and plug it back in for someone else to use it.

Sounds a lot better than getting up earlier to drive your personal car to work and spend much of the time and gas in jams, isn’t it? The best part is it will also be cheaper to rent one of these electric runabouts than to use yours and they will also help decongest traffic. For example, 4 i-Roads are occupying the footprint of a normal car you mostly use only by yourself.

Grenoble metro community citizens can already pre-register for Citélib by Ha:mo. If they register as early as this summer, they will receive time credits towards future usage of the service when it becomes operational in October.

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