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GM and SAIC Unveil EN-V Concepts for Future Urban Mobility
In brief: General Motors and Chinese partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) have teamed up to bring the next evolution in the EN-V line of electric mobility transportation with three concept models.
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Manufacturer: GM / SAIC / Segway
Last year, GM teamed with Segway (the makers of the Personal Transporter) to bring the PUMA mobility concept. This year, going a step further, they've brought in China's SAIC to make three concepts based on a simple 2-seat electric platform called the Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V).
The three models are based on the same platform and chassis, which delivers about 25mph in top speed and 25 miles of range. The concepts are meant for the "urban mobility" sector of people who need to get around town, but don't live where traffic speeds exceed 30mph (inner city).
Three models were unveiled: the Jiao ("pride"), the Miao ("magic") and the Xiao ("laugh"). The concepts will be showcased at the SAIC-GM paviliion at the World Expo 2010 which starts in May.
The drive train is still made by Segway and includes two motors (one in each drive wheel), Segway's special stabilization tehcnology, and some added electronics. The EN-Vs will be inter-connected through a vehicle-to-vehicle data network and will be able to interact with the power grid as well.
This will allow for each unit's GPS to be used to avoid collisions, automate much of the driving, and interact with the power grid to charge at the best times.
The little vehicles are about 1/3 the weight of a traditional compact sedan, can turn on a dime (literally), and about five total feet in diameter (1.74 meters).
The cars use lithium-ion phosphate batteries (3.2kWh) powering two brushless DC motors putting out 18kW each. Vehicle-based sensors and other equipment are part of the safety and autonomous driving package.
And so ...
A very interesting sci-fi look at the future from GM. The motors act as both propulsion and braking, an interesting concept not much explored by automakers.
Photo credits: GM
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