Tuesday, April 07, 2009

GM and Segway...

News and videos(see videos below) of a partmership between General Motors and Segway have been released today. The stories indicate the partnership in the development of the PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility). It is a 2 seat all electric drive vehicle. It essentially is rolling on 2 wheels. It also has two kind of caster wheels in the front and another two in the back to help with keeping the vehicle upright at stops, while parked, if power was to go out, etc. It seems that the two wheels could be used durng times of attempted to save energy.

(Upper picture - click to enlarge - illustrates how the PUMA could be used as smart humanless driven public transportation system. This PUMA public transit system could provide more energy efficient flexible demand system with faster transit times for the riders than current transit systems. The riders would also experience more of a private transportation experience, similar to having a private chaufer driven limosine, but at a fraction of the cost of that and existing public transportation buses and trains.)

Is this GM's attempt at winning favor with the public and the government? GM has been opitomised as the giant corporation that does not care about the public and their desires, or the issue of dependence on fossil fuels. They have be dogged for their continued effort and developing ever bigger and bigger vehicles, which seem to get less and less fuel/energy economy. And at the same time they have been getting into more financial trouble. It seems that one of the only things keeping them afloat financially over the last few years is the massive profit they have generated from their lending company.

An while GM has been in essentailly a static position with the deployment of producing energy efficient and practical affordable accessable environmentally friendly vehicles, other companies like Toyota and Honda have been racking in massive profits on these kinds of vehicles, and winning the publics esteem and credibility.

Is it possible that we could see the PUMA available by this summer? The PUMA could be combined with public transit, like commuter trains. And/or it may be also used in Car share fleets. It appears that these vehicles could be configured for towing one or two astride behind taxis as well. It may also be configured for towing a small bicycle trailer for added cargo carrying capacity.

With a vehicle like this, we may see city planners retrofitting public parking to accomodate the footprint of this all electric micro car. And also we may see much more availablity of electric outlets and public charging stations to charge these vehicles.

And this may be a boom for those riding electric assist bicycle whom also depend on access to suitable, safe, convenient places to plug in an charge thier batteries too.

Some folks talked about a "Green Lane" deployment in California. It may be that this vehicle, being that it is essentially as wide as a bicycle trailer would be feasable on esisting bicycle lanes. And thus it may futher prompt the building of more bicycle lanes (or perhaps California Green Lanes) in California to accomodate this vehicle to be shared with other ultra lite micro sized vehicles that are friendly to the environment.

Who knows, it could revisit the idea of vehicles like those invision by Sir Clive Sinclair and his C5, 3 wheeled electric micro car.

. And it may make it easier for folks driving around town in their electric hybrid power assist bicycles whom depend on access to electicity charging stations.

Oddly, Bob, the CEO of Wike, and the inventor of the micro electric folding car the Wicycle, did make a prediction about GM and the mirco electric vehicles industry (see video "folding electric car")

Related Posts:
- Hybrid Bike news video
- Wike Wicycle micro alectric folding car video
- Folding Electric micro car from the 1920's video
- Sinclair C5 promotional video


jon said...

In the street? Great! In the bike lanes? Maybe. In pedestrian areas? (like in the video) NO WAY!

Interesting post though...

PS http://tinyurl.com/34m6tm

Anonymous said...

I believe in my country they will not soon.

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