Toyota is contributing 70 of its i-ROAD and COMS ultra-compact personal mobility electric vehicles to a three-year integrated EV car sharing and public transport test project that is being launched in Grenoble, France in the autumn. It will be i-ROAD’s first official on-road trial in Europe.
You hear a lot about future mobility, smart cities, and other innovations designed to make cities and urban transport more pleasant and manageable in years to come. Concrete examples, however, are still few and far between. When the back-to-school season begins after this summer, this dream will become a reality in Grenoble and the outlying area, making the French Alps city a pioneer in future mobility.
In October 2014, 70 Toyota i-ROAD and COMS ultra-compact electric vehicles, and around 30 charging stations will be open for service for a period of three years thanks to a unique partnership between the City and the Metropolitan Area of Grenoble, French energy company EDF, Japanese car maker Toyota and Citélib, a local car-sharing operator.
Connected to the public transport system’s IT infrastructure, this new car-sharing scheme will complement Citélib, the current car-sharing service of Grenoble, by allowing users to pick up one of the small EVs at one location and drop it off at another. The project also aims to promote interconnectivity of public transport methods (trams, buses, trains) and a new type of personal mobility using small vehicles that don’t take up as much space as a normal car. The main idea is to allow commuters to drive the first or last kilometres of their journey for increased flexibility and time-saving, thus contributing to reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality in city centres.