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GM’s take on the future

2010-04-09 07:17
Meet the EN-V, the latest offering by General Motors – a motorcyle-like personal transporter which seems to have taken its cues from BMW’s ill-fated enclosed C1 scooter.

According to General Motors more than 60% of the world’s 8 billion people will be living in cities by 2030. This means a growing demand for transportation and an already struggling infrastructure will only be burdened further.

Which is why GM teamed up with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, to create the EN-V, a Minority Report-ish personal urban transporter which is guaranteed to “address the need for personal mobility”.

The EN-V, which is short for Electric Networked-Vehicle, is a two-wheel, two-seat electric vehicle which was designed to tackle traffic congestion, parking availability, air quality and affordability for tomorrow’s cities. A big task indeed for such a pint sized machine.

The personal pod is propelled by electric motors in each of its two driving-mode wheels while “dynamic stabilisation technology” allows the EN-V to carry two passengers and light cargo “in a footprint that’s about a third of a traditional vehicle”.

Power for the motors comes courtesy of lithium-ion batteries that can recharged from a conventional wall plug, but with a range of just 40km the EN-V falls decidedly short of commuters’ needs. It does score points though for its ability to “communicate with the electric grid to determine the best time to recharge based on overall usage”.

Three EN-V models were unveiled in Shanghai with the, er, refreshing names of Pride, Magic and Laugh.

“EN-V reinvents the automobile by creating a new vehicle DNA through the convergence of electrification and connectivity.,” said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group.

“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.”


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