Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 New York Preview: Are GM’s EN-V concepts the future or folly?

Toronto Star - John LeBlanc
As a follow up to last year’s two-seat Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility concept developed with Segway, Government Motors brought to last year’s New York auto show, the U.S. automaker has released details of a trio of new Electric Networked-Vehicles (EN-V) concepts for this year’s Big Apple show media days, scheduled for next week.
This time around, GM teamed with its Chinese manufacturing partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC), for its trio of show cars.
GM says “they represent three different characteristics that emphasize the enjoyable nature of future transportation: Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic) and Xiao (Laugh).”
In addition to being shown in New York next week, the concepts will be showcased from May 1 through October 31 at the SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai.
The EN-V concepts, two-seat electric vehicles—that weigh less than 500 kg and about 1.5 metres in length—were designed to “alleviate concerns surrounding traffic congestion, parking availability, air quality and affordability for tomorrow's cities.”
GM’s press release ominously predicts that “by 2030, urban areas will be home to more than 60 percent of the world's 8 billion people.”
GM’s Blade Runner-like projections aside, do you think the automaker, using our tax dollars, should be playing around with cars that won’t see the light of day for 20 years, if ever?
Or should GM stick to trying to make more competitive Chevys and Cadillacs?

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