Thursday, March 25, 2010

EN-V Concept: General Motors unveils an electric scooter!

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The EN-V, a two-wheeled electric scooter (all right, they claim it's a concept car) from GM...
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General Motors, along with their Chinese partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC), have unveiled their new concept vehicle – the EN-V – which they say is an electric car for urban areas. However, since the EN-V rides on just two wheels, we suppose it would only be fair to call it a fully enclosed electric scooter

The GM EN-V (short for Electric Networked-Vehicle) two-wheeled, two-seater electric vehicle was shown in three flavours – Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic) and Xiao (Laugh). All three concepts will be on display at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, which starts on the 1st of May this year.

‘The EN-V reinvents the automobile through the convergence of electrification and connectivity. It provides an ideal solution for urban mobility that enables future driving to be free from petroleum and emissions, free from congestion and accidents, and more fun and fashionable than ever before,’ says Kevin Wale, President and MD, GM China Group.

Based on a platform that was co-developed by Segway, the GM EN-V is powered by electric motors fitted in each of its two wheels. The vehicle uses ‘dynamic stabilization technology’ developed by Segway and remains upright on its own, without its occupants having to worry about the vehicle’s stability.

Power for the EN-V’s motors comes from a lithium-ion battery pack, which provides a range of at least 40km on one full charge. With GPS, onboard cameras and distance-sensing technologies, the EN-V can ‘see,’ sense what’s around it and drive itself – just punch in the coordinates of the place you want to go, and it’ll take you there. Probably.

While the GM EN-V is, of course, only a concept vehicle, we do believe it’s vehicles like these that will be the future of urban transport, especially in super-crowded cities in Europe and Asia. We actually wouldn’t mind one of these self-driving thingies for pottering around town, though we would, of course, still keep the S1000RR for Sunday mornings… :-)

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The GM EN-V comes in three flavours - Jiao, Miao and Xiao. Can't beat that, eh...
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