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GM Developing New EN-V

Rickshaw-like battery vehicle targets inner-city commuters.

by on Oct.13, 2011

The 2nd-generation Chevrolet EN-V could appeal to entry-level commuters, the maker believes.

It looks like a self-propelled rickshaw, with more in common with the quirky Segway personal mobility device than a conventional automobile, but General Motors is convinced its EN-V concept vehicle could play a major role in the future of transportation.

So, the U.S. maker says it will develop a second-generation EN-V to not only test out the idea of operating on only two wheels but also to explore concepts that include autonomous mobility – the sci-fi fantasy of cars that can operate entirely on their own.

“We someday anticipate connecting all vehicles through a mobility network that could include autonomous driving,” said Jim Federico, a senior product executive with GM, which showed off a prototype of the EN-V gen-two during a news conference celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Chevrolet brand.

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The original concept, first shown at the 2009 New York Auto Show, carried a generic GM badge. The switch to Chevrolet reflects that brand’s role as the primary provider of basic transportation within the General Motors family, explained Chip Perry, GM’s vice president of global marketing.

“By 2030, more than 60% of the world’s 8 billion people will live in urban areas,” he noted.  “The Chevrolet EN-V represents a possible solution for global customers living in markets where alternative transportations solutions are needed.”