Toyota i-Road arrives in Texas

The Japanese automaker brought its unique three-wheeler the the Lone Star State to gauge consumer interest.

After trying out the i-Road at home in Japan and in France, Toyota has brought its diminutive three-wheeler to Texas.

The company invited 65 residents from North Texas to a focus-group event at the American Airlines center in Dallas, where they could drive around in the i-Road and its four-wheeled counterpart, known as the COMS.

"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," said Toyota North America chief Jim Lentz. "We're excited to show Texans where these advanced technologies could take us."

Pilot programs in France and Japan currently include the i-Road in car-sharing services. The company is also preparing to loan the vehicles to individual drivers in Tokyo, beginning next month.

The i-Road seats two occupants in a configuration similar to a motorcycle, automatically shifting the front axles to lean into turns. The COMS, which is already for sale in Japan, is more of a traditional tiny EV with room for just the driver.

Toyota suggests a US launch is still under consideration, following the focus-group events in Texas and Silicon Valley, though no final decision has been made.

Read more!