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GM says work on next-generation EN-V concept begins


October 12, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

October 12, 2011 – Work on the a next-generation Chevrolet EN-V concept vehicle is under way, announced the company, adding that it could participate in pilot demonstration programs in megacities around the world to determine real-world practicality.

In addition, future EN-V concepts will carry a Chevrolet badge, said Chris Perry, VP global, Chevrolet marketing and strategy. “For 100 years, Chevrolet has been focused on accessible and affordable technology that improves customers’ lives, and the Chevrolet EN-V will continue that tradition.”

Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the EN-V recharges from a conventional wall outlet using standard household power, enabling it to travel at least 40 km on a single charge. By combining GPS with vehicle-to-vehicle communications and distance-sensing technologies, the EN-V can be driven either manually or autonomously. In autonomous mode, EN-V offers mobility to people who may not otherwise operate a vehicle. By leveraging wireless communications it allows drivers and occupants to communicate hands-free with friends or business associates while on the go.

“By 2030, more than 60% of the world’s eight billion people will live in urban areas,” said Perry. “The Chevrolet EN-V represents a possible solution for global customers living in markets where alternative transportation solutions are needed.”

The EN-V (short for electric networked-vehicle), is a two-seater designed to address environmental issues and help alleviate traffic congestion, parking, safety and energy consumption.

The next-gen EN-V concept will add features such as climate control, personal storage space and all-weather operation while preserving key elements of the original EN-V, such as the small footprint and maneuverability. It will also retain its battery electric propulsion, connectivity and autonomous driving capabilities.

Chevrolet will explore other locations around the world, including Canada, for potential pilot programs, said Chris Borroni-Bird, GM’s director of advanced technology vehicle concepts.

The ability to communicate with other vehicles and with the infrastructure could help EN-V significantly reduce the number of vehicle crashes and make it easier to find available parking spaces, says GM. It could also reduce traffic congestion by automatically selecting the fastest route based on real-time traffic information.