GM’s new EN-V electric ‘car’ unveiled (2010)

Published: 24 March 2010

GM has shown off its oddball EN-V – a Segway style electric vehicle imagined for 20 years hence – in China. EN-V stands for Electric Networked Vehicle and is an urban mobility solution to keep pedestrians moving in busy cities of the future.

The future? You don’t say!

Yes, the EN-V is a concept car for the year 2030, when 60% of the world’s 8 billion population will be city dwellers. Many of them, presumably, in booming China, where the EN-V was co-developed with GM’s partner SAIC.

The model pictured above is the Xiao edition (meaning Laugh); two other versions, the Jiao (Pride) and Maio (Magic), were also unveiled in Shanghai, the home town of SAIC.

Shades of Segway?

Well spotted. The EN-V is a two-seater based on the platform of the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (PUMA) prototype developed by Segway in 2009.

The EN-V has two electric motors driving two wheels. Dynamic stability tech from the Segway keeps the EN-V balanced, and the makers claim it can turn on a sixpence.

The battery power is lithium ion and GM claims a 40km range on a single charge. You might scoff, but the designers point out that the typical small ubran car today weighs 1500kg and is three times as long as the 1.5m EN-V, which weighs less than 500kg thanks to carbonfibre, Lexan and acrylic construction.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet