Toyota is providing 70 ultra-compact electric vehicles for Cité lib by Ha:Mo, an urban mobility project to be launched in Grenoble, France Oct. 1.
The automaker is providing a fleet of its i-ROAD and COMS ultra-compact electric vehicles. The three and four-wheelers are set to prove how clean and easy urban motoring can be by taking part in a major pilot program in the French city of Grenoble, said Toyota.
Toyota is a partner in the three-year low-carbon carsharing program and is supplying 35 of each type of vehicle, also contributing its Ha:Mo (harmonious mobility) system to manage day-to-day operations, following a model that’s already been successfully trialed in Toyota City in Japan.
Known a Cité lib by Ha:Mo, the program is also supported by the local authorities in Grenoble, the French power supplier EDF, SODETREL, an EDF subsidiary that installs, manages and maintains electric charging points, and well-established local car-share operator Cité lib.
Starting Oct. 1, anyone 18 or older who holds a valid driving license can register with Cite Lib to gain access to the Toyota electric vehicles. Toyota said once subscribed to the service, they can download an application on their smartphone, tablet or computer to see the real-time location of vehicles that are charged and ready to use.
The company added people will be able to pick up their car and drop it off at a different location – any of 27 charging stations in the greater Grenoble area – rather than having to make a round-trip. When the vehicle is dropped off, it is plugged into the station to be recharged and ready for the next customer.
The concept is seen, explained Toyota, as a way of building a better-integrated public transport service, where people collect an electric vehicle from a location near their home or office to drive to a local transport hub for the next stage of their journey. Likewise, people arriving by bus or train can step into a car on arrival to complete the last leg of their trip. The network of charging stations is connected to Grenoble’s transport network IT system to make total journey planning easier.
Both Toyota vehicles have been developed as user-friendly transport around town, added the automaker. The i-ROAD uses an Active Lean technology that steers in a similar way to the movements of a skier. It’s not much larger than a motorbike or scooter, but has a full roof that protects the driver from the elements and gives the kind of secure feeling and comfort of a car.
“This project came to fruition because all of its partners have the same aspiration — to be a part of creating a future urban mobility,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation. “Urban mobility solutions will be a key growth area for Toyota in the future. We are very excited to be working alongside the people of Grenoble in solving urban traffic problems,”
During the pilot the program, partners said they will gather data on technical issues and user behavior to help shape future mobility initiatives.