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The Consumer Reports Cars Blog, and several others, have noted the recent introduction of the GM EN-V (Electric Networked Vehicle) at World Expo 2010 Shanghai. GM and Segway have expanded the Segway P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility) platform that Segway demonstrated in April 2009. There are three models for future transportation: the Jiao (Pride), the Miao (Magic), and the Xiao (Laugh) — don’t. Propulsion is provided by lithium-ion battery-powered electric motors in the units’ two wheels.

As in the Segway, dynamic stabilization provides balance. If it’s like the P.U.M.A., sitting forward or reclining in the seat will control forward motion and braking; tilting the yoke will provide steering.

The EN-Vs weigh less than 500 kg, and are about 1.5 m long. Carbon fiber, Lexan, and acrylic are the main components of the body and canopy. A single charge should allow an EN-V to “travel at least 40 kilometers.” These two seaters can turn on their own axis.

Having done a Segway tour of Austin, I think the EN-Vs are a neat concept, but I’m not sure about the two-seater concept: somebody leans the wrong way, and you’re toast.

EN-V Concept [Manufacturer’s Site]

Photo Gallery of GM EN-V Concept Cars [Popular Science]

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10 Responses to GM/Segway EN-V

  1. Gough says:

    I have to agree about the leaning/reclining issue. I move around a fair bit when I’m driving (bad back) and a lot more when I’m a passenger. I can only imagine what that would do in this vehicle.

  2. Shopmonger says:

    yeah i woudl agree, but i also think thsi is going to be a short trip unit….mostrly for those who live in town… So maybe not so as important…

    ShopMonger

  3. Michael says:

    I’m overhauling my Explorer hoping for another 15 years of life out of it. There may come a day when I run in to one of these things on the road.

  4. russ says:

    I take it this vehicle is not kid friendly either.

    Another “green” vehicle using rare earth metals. I like the fact that instead of buying oil from the Saudis we will buy Lexan from them.

  5. steve says:

    I doubt these were made for the road. More like a two seated bicycle. But their one person Segway didn’t have anywhere near the success that they thought it would.

    What makes them think this abomination will?

  6. russ says:

    @steve

    It won’t be successful, at least in the U.S. Too dangerous for pedestrian walkways and too dangerous for the roads (“they’ll turn on a dime” and get crushed like a dime).

  7. Tim says:

    I must agree with the other posters. What market are they looking to fill? They look like carts that came off of a Disneyland ride. I’d see their use on small closed areas like an amusement park, but not in wide public usage. People on bikes slow up traffic enough, so I could imagine what would happen if people tried to use them on the road.

  8. Michael says:

    If you read the article, you’ll find GM designed these, well, things in countries that are big in to subsidizing the global warming hype. I’d bet these vehicles are nothing more than government spending programs and never meant to see the light of day.

  9. Quintus says:

    These things might fill one niche – a runabout for use in a mostly pedestrian environment – world’s fairs, shopping mall, Disneyland (security patrol), amusement parks, etc.

    Put a great big horn on it, and the pedestrians will not be an impediment.

  10. Shalin says:

    Yeah, with that leaning issue – it would be a horrible idea to put a backseat-driver in there…

    It would be really interesting to see the differences of suburban folks and city folks, that were given a choice between one of these EN-Vs, a Vespa or similar, and a Smart Car…

    –S

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