When I first lay my eyes on the photograph above, it reminds me of the human-controlled robots in the movie Avatar, except that these have no arms. Coming back to the topic, General Motors and its Chinese partner Shanghai Auto (SAIC) presented a new trio of self-balancing two-wheeler concept vehicles that will be showcased in public for the first time at the SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai that runs from May 1 through October 31.
Called the Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V), the two-seater concept is tailored to the crowded mega-cities of the future. GM developed three different variants of the EN-V named Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic) and Xiao (Laugh). The Xiao (blue color) was designed by GM Holden's design team in Australia, while the look of Jiao (red finish) was penned by designers at GM Europe and Miao (gray color) was designed at the GM Advanced Design Studio in California. Constructed using lightweight material, the EN-V weighs less than 500kg.
All three versions of the EN-V are propelled by electric motors in each of their two driving-mode wheels. Power for the motors is provided by lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged from a conventional wall outlet and allow the EN-V to travel at least 40 kilometers or 25 miles on a single charge.
I feel that a good testing ground for the EN-V would be environmental companies that does road cleaning. A suction pump could be attached to the bottom of the vehicle to clear up road debris and fallen leaves.