Last year, GM unveiled its EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) concept in three flavors conceived by design teams around the world. In an effort to ascertain the real-world practicality of the two-seat, electric urban mobility concept, GM has begun work on the next-generation EN-V concept vehicle which the company plans to test in pilot demonstration programs in megacities around the world. The new vehicle and future EN-V concepts will also now be part of the Chevrolet brand and carry a Chevrolet badge.

The next-gen EN-V concept, which will now be branded as a Chevrolet and carry a Chevrolet badge, will add climate control, personal storage space and all-weather and road condition operation, while retaining the pod-form factor of previous EN-V designs that provides a small footprint and the ability to turn on a dime. The new model will continue to be powered by lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged from a standard household outlet to provide a range of 40 km (25 miles) on a single charge.

GM has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Investment and Development Co. Ltd. (SSTEC) to integrate the next-gen EN-V into the Tianjin Eco-City for real-world testing. The Tianjin Eco-City is an ecologically friendly city to house around 350,000 residents being constructed about 150 km (93 miles) from Beijing in a collaboration between the Chinese and Singaporean governments.

Tying the vehicle into the power, communications and physical infrastructure of the Tianjin Eco-City will allow GM to test a number of the EN-V's features in a real-world environment. These include the vehicle's autonomous driving capabilities, which are enabled by combining GPS with vehicle-to-vehicle communications and distance-sensing technologies, along with wireless communications capabilities that allows drivers and occupants to communicate hands-free with friends and business associates while on the go.

It's expected the EN-V's ability to communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure could also help reduce crashes and traffic congestion and make it easier to find a vacant parking space or the fastest route based on real-time traffic information.

"This technology platform of electric propulsion, sensors, wireless communications and GPS-based navigation is likely to migrate from the EN-V concept to other automobiles and could lead the way to safer, cleaner vehicles in the future," said Chris Borroni-Bird, GM's director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts. "It provides an ideal solution for petroleum- and emission-free urban transportation that is free from congestion and crashes, and more fun and fashionable than ever before."

Along with the Tianjin Eco-City trial, Chevrolet says it will also explore other locations around the world - including the U.S. - for potential pilot programs for the EN-V concept.

Here's some video featuring the original three EN-V designs and how they might work in the real-world.

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    About the Author

    Darren Quick

    Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.

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    • Awesome

      Akshay Kharvi
    • Ahhh - gotta love the future! So Jetsons! I\'m guessing there will be no potholes in the roads of the future. These little guys have nearly no ground clearance and would get eaten by a city pothole or likely tip over going up a hill in San Francisco. I\'m really just being a pessimist here - I\'d love to see future world work - once everyone is fed.

    • I am sure glad that we are not a megacity here. Concepted to death!

      Chris Jordan
    • Neat. But would it kill them to add just a little bit of trunk space?

      Jeff Edsell
    • Where do the groceries go? FAIL!

    • Simplefy it. gyros would eat up more power, Why not give it three wheels and better susspension? What is the top speed? The prototypes don\'t appear to exceed 20Mph. How long to charge? And when the Spindizzy goes sour, how hard is it to repair? How about a pickup version?

    • I can do at least that good without millions of research dollars. This is something I designed in Truespace. Even has a trunk. With current electric motorcycle technology, it should have almost a 200 mile range, two people, and protection from bad weather.

    • Great idea. Hey I have an idea, how about a simple reliable car, inexpensive to maintain, seats 2 people with room for some items that gets 70mpg.... asking too much am I?

      Mark A
    • Um...this looks really stupid...and no...not Jetsons-like, more like Woody Allen's "Sleeper"

    • @MarkA, hey Mark you may be onto something!!! What an idea, something light on fuel that people can actually afford - brilliant. Cut out most of the modern cr@p, just throw in ABS and two airbags for safety, and leave out all the other modern marketing acronyms. - Max speed actually matching the speed limits. The second seat can even be a temp seat for occasional use.

      Seriously, why hasn\'t any major automaker come up with this idea yet?

      What I cannot understand is why we still need to take 1-2 tons of metal and plastic to work with us everyday. If you have to have a SUV, leave it in the garage for weekends only.

    • Well, Voice of Reason, You are fogetting a few things, and you are absolutely right on the others. Chevy built this, so its government funded. From the get go, it\'s agenda inspired. Also, with a shorter range, its an effective population control method. most third world countries don\'t sell gas on election day. So population cant travel to revolt. With cars like this, all they have to do is turn off the electrical grid, and the most distance you can travel is 25 km, or 13 miles. Am I a fruitcake? I dont know, but I watch where things are going, and I dont like it.

      Dave McKinney
    • Regarding the post. \"Great idea. Hey I have an idea, how about a simple reliable car, inexpensive to maintain, seats 2 people with room for some items that gets 70mpg.... asking too much am I? \" These were created 23 years ago, they are called Citroen AX\'s, I get a regular 64-68 mpg and it\'s a 4 seater diesel. Starts every time and has over 100,000 on the clock.

      Facebook User
    • \"What I cannot understand is why we still need to take 1-2 tons of metal and plastic to work with us everyday. If you have to have a SUV, leave it in the garage for weekends only.\" Simple, it is my transportation, my office, my tool box, my lunch room, my product display area, my receptionist\'s desk, my salesman\'s office, oh yeah, my own damn business. You don\'t want one? Simple, don\'t buy one. Some of us need what we buy. Make your own choice, and I will make mine.


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