General Motors on Wednesday unveiled its Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V), a two-seater urban transport concept vehicle it's developing in conjunction with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC).
The EN-V is not intended for highway driving, but for what GM refers to as "personal urban transport," an idea already taken up by several companies and academic research groups. Many feel there's a need for "last mile" transport or gap transport, a means of transportation that covers the area between where public transport drops off and an exact final destination.
Walking is already the obvious solution in many cases. But in severe weather, when touting packages, or in cities lacking extensive public transport reach, people still tend to take a car over public transport. Providing another option could be the key to getting people to leave those cars outside the city.
The EN-V aims to offer a solution to city traffic congestion, parking, poor air quality, and affordability, according to GM. Using the same platform, the car could come in three distinct looks: the Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic), and Xiao (Laugh).
The EN-V, which looks like a cross between a Smart Car and MIT's City Car, is actually a descendant of the Project PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility) that GM unveiled in April 2009. The PUMA is a two-wheel car built with Segway technology.… Read more