GM’s EN-V Urban Vehicle Concepts In Action & In 3D Video

Start the video, pause and click on the 3D icon in the menu bar to select your choice of 3D format or 2D

About a year ago, when General Motors introduced their three Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V) concepts at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, they were widely mocked by auto enthusiasts. To begin with, car enthusiasts have a tendency to look down their noses at tiny urban cars. Mercedes-Benz’ smart car is an example. The fact that the two-wheeled EN-V concepts were developed in cooperation with the folks who make the Segway didn’t help the EN-V’s image to car guys. It’s not inaccurate to describe the EN-V as an enclosed Segway. However, the EN-V was not developed for car guys, it was developed to deal with transportation needs in highly congested urban environments like in London, Tokyo, Manhattan and Beijing. We have to remember that to avoid becoming buggy whip manufacturers, GM and other automakers have to realize that ultimately they are in the transportation industry, not that they just build cars.

Additional video after the jump.

GM brought two of the EN-Vs to show them off to the engineers attending the SAE World Congress. GM had shown the EN-Vs in a static display at the ’11 NAIAS, but to wow the nerds at the SAE convention a General Motors engineer was giveng attendees brief rides around the Cobo Hall floor. Fortunately I had my 3D video rig with me so you get to see just how oddly the EN-Vs are shaped and what they look like in motion. The word that I would use to describe them is “robotic”. Since they are taller than they are long, they remind me of 1950s vintage science fiction robots. With a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour, though, the EN-Vs are a bit quicker than Robby the Robot.

They weren’t only wowing nerds. There were nerds trying to wow. Though it’s far from SEMA, like any large trade show the SAE World Congress has its share of attractive product specialists and pretty models. One of the more extended test rides was given to a blonde product specialist working for one of the vendors.

Nerdmobiles or not, the EN-Vs, like all electric vehicles, have maximum torque at stall and I’m willing to bet that since there were two of them there, after hours the GM engineers were probably racing the EN-Vs around the show floor at Cobo.

Start the video, pause and click on the 3D icon in the menu bar to select your choice of 3D format or 2D

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