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Toyota’s i-Road electric vehicle project is not dead

iroad_contents_imgToyota has very few electric vehicle projects in the works. The company is focusing its zero-emission effort on hydrogen-powered vehicles over battery-powered ones, but the i-Road concept is an exception.

The three-wheel electric vehicle is what I call “too concept” to ever be a production product. The futuristic design and independently moving front wheels are something that would appear to always be of the future, but the Japan-based auto giant seems to be pushing for a commercial release.

After verification testings in Grenoble last year and then Tokyo earlier this year, Toyota announced last week a “one-day conference” designed for innovators, investors and car enthusiasts in Silicon Valley to explore the possibility of applications for the i-Road.

The event called Onramp will be held Nov. 13, at AT&T Park in San Francisco and the company will make a contest out of it with cash prizes of up to $15,000.

Toyota will also offer test drives of the i-Road and the Mirai at the event.

The i-Road is a small 300 kg electric vehicle equipped with a li-ion battery pack allowing for a 50 km range on a single charge. Its most distinctive feature is its ability to independently move its front wheels in a skiing-like fashion – making the vehicle lean when cornering.

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