The first generation of Chevrolet’s EN-V debuted at the Shanghai World Expo two years ago. The electric, self-driving transport vehicle is back this year, with some improved capabilities.
Pilot studies in China
The second generation of the vehicle, currently showing at the China Auto Show, is the EN-V 2.0. The automaker wants to use it for pilot studies throughout the Asian country.
Like the previous version, the EN-V 2.0 holds two and has a range of about 25 miles. It differs in that it can endure all weather conditions and has more comfort-control settings for its occupants. It also has a longer wheel base and more storage room.
‘A new automobile DNA’
GM says it has “pioneered a new automobile DNA based on the convergence of electrification and connectivity.”
Kevin Wale, president of GM’s China Group, said:
“Our designers and engineers are exploring a range of options for turning the EN-V concept into a reality. The EN-V 2.0 concept would use technologies such as the mobility Internet, electrification and telematics to help change the automotive landscape and ensure a sustainable future for our industry.”
For over-crowded future cities
GM developed the concept as a solution to the escalating density of modern cities. The tiny, emissions-free vehicle can park and maneuver in small spaces. The crowded Asian nation seems a perfect place to test its functions.
In its current form, the futuristic, pod-looking craft can be driven manually or set to run on its own, with very little interaction from the motorist inside. However, the automaker says it is still refining the self-guiding functions that rely heavily on GPS, radar and motion sensors.
The Tianjin Eco-City
GM signed a memorandum of understanding last year with the developers of the Tianjin Eco-City to work toward developing the next-gen EN-V for use in the green city of tomorrow. However, GM says the EN-V 2.2 will be tested in other parts of China as well.
The Tianjin Eco-City, projected to open in 2020, is an experimental 30 square kilometer “green” city that will utilize cutting-edge energy-efficient technologies.
Panned on Facebook
The EN-V 2.0 concept has been posted on GM’s Facebook page, to overwhelmingly negative feedback. However, just as recent sales figures point to a growing acceptance of electric and hybrid vehicles in general, that perception may change in time. At any rate, GM seems willing to take the chance and to set its sights on tomorrow.