Mk 2 EN-V silently rolling our way
The future of personal urban transport is quietly humming into view. If the majority of recent concepts are to come to light, said future is small, rear-wheel drive and capable of going 60 miles (or more) on a single charge. Unless you're General Motors. The General's EN-V concept has only two wheels, like a Segway. It also doesn't need much concentration drive, again like a Segway.
The General has given the EN-V a Chevrolet bow tie, and will be adding some new features to it over the original concept. EN-V the sequel will come with storage space, climate control and the ability to work in all weather.
The way the EN-V works means little input is required from the driver. While you can drive it the ol' fashioned way, the EN-V can be set to a sort of auto pilot mode. In auto-mode you simply tell it where to go and it'll take you there.
That's possible because the EN-V uses car-to-car communication, cameras, distance sensors and GPS tech to make sure it doesn't crash into other cars, smoosh any cats or mow down errant pedestrians. It'll take you up to 24-miles on a charge, which should suit most city dwellers down to the ground.
Not only is it quite cool, but it means we could end up with a hefty amount of driverless cars whooshing about taking their drivers wherever they need to be via sneaky side roads and the like; if a large group of other EN-Vs are telling yours there's a jam, it'll simply sneak around it. Smart, no?
We had a go in the Mk 1 at this summer's Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it was rather good, too.
Cars like the EN-V and the various urban mobility concepts are all very smart – they offer cheap transportation for the masses who live in built up areas. However, there's a flaw with them that few seem to be willing to address.
The majority of urban environments are filled with people who live in flats with limited parking. Now, if a landlord/council installs one charging point for a car park full of EN-Vs/Leafs/iMiEVs, etc then there's be a bit of a queue at peak usage times. Or, if the landlord won't install one, then how are these things going to be charged?
The government has said there won't be EV charging points on every corner, so will buildings sprout extension lead shaped 'hair' every night? Or will these be the preserve of those who own swanky townhouses and suburbanites?