General Motors (and its JV partner, SAIC Motor Corp.) unveiled a new electric concept car today that’s supposed to be great for cities like ours. Shown for the first time in Shanghai, it’s called the EN-V a.k.a. “Electric Networked-Vehicle.”
The two-seater is would be networked with other cars to help avoid accidents and ease traffic and, at around 1.5m by 1.5 m, is about one-third the length of a standard passenger car. That means there’s the possibility that you could just park it in your apartment.
Other details, garnered from AP:
- It uses the same type of battery cells as the Segway
- It’s maximum speed is only 40kmph (24mph)… does this mean it can’t go on a highway?
- It’s only 400kg (880lbs)
- It’ll feature “autonomous driving” – letting the car drive itself using an elaborate system of GPS, digital maps, senors and cameras. Kind of like Minority Report, but less comfy looking.
- Five of them could fit in the parking space needed for one conventional vehicle.
Unfortunately, a car like this wouldn’t hit showrooms for another 10 to 20 years, which makes it even less useful to us than GM’s other “environmentally friendly” model – the Chevy Volt, which feels like it’s been in production forever now. And we don’t even know if that one will last, considering their history with electric vehicles.
Even if it did come to be, if any of the concept pictures are true, it will mean that you can drive these on non-roads. Judging by how many honks I get from irritated scooter drivers, I can only think that would make Shanghai sidewalks even more annoying for walkers.
Still, I guess it’s exciting that GM does have some concept of the future, and it’s pretty cool that they’d choose to unveil it here in Shanghai. You’ll be able to check out the EN-V yourself at the World Expo, but here’s a gallery of concept pics in the meantime.