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First Look: GM EN-V Concept

Meet Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic) and Xiao (Laugh).

by on Mar.24, 2010

No word on the price or production plans.

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation  Group (SAIC) and its partner General Motors Company will show an electric vehicle concept at an exhibition in Shanghai at World Expo 2010 later this year.

So called, EN-V, short for Electric Networked-Vehicle, is a two-seat electric vehicle designed to “alleviate concerns surrounding traffic congestion, parking availability, air quality and affordability for tomorrow’s cities.”

Three EN-V models were unveiled today. They are said to represent three different characteristics that emphasize the “enjoyable nature” of future transportation – Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic) and Xiao (Laugh).

These concepts will be showcased from May 1 through October 31 at the SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

By combining GPS) with vehicle-to-vehicle communications and distance-sensing, EN-V concept can be driven manually or autonomously.

The Chinese auto market is the worlds largest and, unlike the U.S. and Europe markets it is still growing robustly.

EN-V’s platform has evolved from the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (P.U.M.A.) prototype developed by Segway, which debuted in April 2009 at the New York Auto Show.      (more…)

35 Miles, 35 Cents: is the GM/Segway PUMA a revolution or a PR ploy?

Potential partners see opportunity for fleets in Paris, Beijing, Singapore – but why not NYC?

by on Apr.07, 2009

It would get 35 miles at 35 mph on 35 cents per charge, but is the GM-Segway PUMA more than a fanciful PR gimmick?

It would get 35 miles at 35 mph on 35 cents per charge, but is the GM-Segway PUMA more than a fanciful PR gimmick?

Larry Burns is “extraordinarily paranoid,” and he should be.  The head of General Motors’ advanced research operations confides that he’s tracking at least 20 potential competitors who could revolutionize the automobile, much the way Apple’s iPhone did to home entertainment, and the PC did to big mainframe computers.

“Anyone betting on the status quo better think twice,” Burns told me following a news conference in New York City, Tuesday.  That well-attended event allowed GM to lift the covers on its new PUMA – or Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility vehicle – which it developed in cooperation with one of those 20 potentially disruptive players, Segway.

PUMA utilizes much of the basic technology behind Segway’s Personal Transporter, or PT, the little scooter you’ll see on college campuses and at airports around the country.  The PT was initially hailed as a revolution, on its own, but its hefty, $5,400 pricetag, the fact that you have to stand up, and that there’s no shelter from the elements have all relegated the otherwise cutting-edge device to a low-volume niche.  But working together, GM and Segway are aiming to demonstrate that the underlying technology could, in the words of Burns, “revolutionize urban transportation.”

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Could GM/Segway PUMA Revolutionize City Driving?

Urban transportation alternative designed to “change the way we drive in cities.”

by on Apr.06, 2009

The GM/Segway PUMA uses a lithium-ion battery to power its electronic stabilization system and twin wheel motors.  It will deliver 35 miles range at 35 mph.

The GM/Segway PUMA uses a lithium-ion battery to power its electronic stabilization system and twin wheel motors. It will deliver 35 miles range at speeds up to 35 mph.

Horns blaring, tempers flaring, it seems like gridlock could soon overwhelm our cities.  But an unusual project, pairing the mainstream automaker, General Motors, and the edgy, high-tech personal mobility manufacturer, Segway, could offer up an alternative that changes the way we drive in cities.

Dubbed Project PUMA – short for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility – it’s a battery-powered two-seater – but with only two wheels.  If that brings to mind a bicycle or motorcycle, think again.  Rather than a conventional, tandem layout, PUMA’s passengers ride side-by-side, thanks to the same stabilization system used in Segway’s one-person Personal Transporter.

A prototype of the GM/Segway concept will debut, this week, at the New York International Auto Show, at the Big Apple’s Jacob Javits Center.  With the word, “Experimental,” emblazoned across the front, PUMA looks like a cross between a bubble car and a Chinese rickshaw, sans coolie pulling it through the streets.

“Project P.U.M.A. represents a unique solution to moving about and interacting in cities, where more than half of the world’s people live,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president of research and development, and strategic planning.

Click Here to SubscribeLike the original Segway, PUMA relies on a unique stabilization system that eliminates the need for two additional wheels.  It’s powered by electric motors – in this case, one in each wheel, and powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery pack – with electric steering and braking, as well.  But the two-seater takes things several, er, steps further.

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