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General Motors Launches Two-Wheeler of the Future

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General Motors and its strategic partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group have come up with a concept two-wheeled vehicle to address the need for personal urban transportation in the cities of the future. It is based on the personal mobility pioneer Segway and is called the Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V).

General Motors and its strategic partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group have come up with a concept two-wheeled vehicle to address the need for personal urban transportation in the cities of the future. It is based on the personal mobility pioneer Segway and is called the Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V).

The self-balancing electric ‘car’ is designed to transport two adults in a seated position, and can travel up to 40 – 56 kilometres. The EN-V is powered by lithium-ion batteries. The 136 kilogram zero-emissions vehicle has a top speed of 56 kilometres per hour and is powered by two electric wheel motors. The control system is based on the original Segway with dynamic balancing and drive-by-wire for acceleration, steering, and braking.

It also features vehicle-to-vehicle communications, digital smart energy management and a dockable user interface that allows off-board connectivity. Pricing isn’t announced yet but is expected to be one-fourth to one-third the cost of what you pay to own and operate today’s automobile.General Motors said it hopes to have the vehicle in production by 2012.

The Segway Personal Transporter debuted with great fanfare in 2001, and has found a niche market, but failed to “to be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy,” as its inventor, Dean Kamen, predicted. According to General Motors, the EN-V has been designed for the “speed and range of today’s urban drivers” which means not very fast (or far). The

body and canopy of EN-V are constructed from carbon fiber, custom-tinted Lexan and acrylic, materials more commonly used in race cars, military airplanes, and spacecraft because of their strength and lightweight characteristics. EN-V’s interior design provides maximum visibility to the outside environment and includes a simple interface for activating Wi-Fi-based technologies for staying connected with the outside world.

 

 

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