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IPFS News Link • Energy

Test Drive: GM's EN-V Electric Transporter, Half a Smart Car On a Segway Base


GM's EN-V concept (it stands for "Electric Networked Vehicle") is designed to fill the niche of urban, short-range transport, where space is limited but travel distances are typically shorter than suburban or rural drives. I saw three designs of the car (shaped like a deep-sea diver's helmet, MF Doom's mask, and Urkel's clown car, respectively), all of which are about half the size of a Smart car and fitted on a two-wheel base co-designed by Segway.

The Segway base is called the "Skateboard," though a skateboard actually does have four wheels and typically boasts a minimum of gyroscopic sensors. But that base allows the EN-V to turn in place, and as a bonus, looks really cool. Moving from "park" to "drive," the entire chassis shifts back and forth on the gyroscopes to balance the cab's weight, though you don't actually feel it while driving. (The spinning-on-a-dime thing did give me immediate nausea, however.) The car itself is about half the length of a Smart car, which makes it about a quarter the size of a normal obese American parking space, and is about a third the weight of a typical sedan.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by McElchap
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This thing looks like R2-D2's big brother, and about as crash-worthy as an egg. The "Smart Car" was a jazzed up golf cart with doors. Now we see this little contraption in our future? What is America coming to?  Will rickshaws be the next thing to alleviate unemployment?

The Detroit iron of the 1950's or 1960's look pretty good now, doesn't it?