VIDEO: New hi-tech electric car revealed
The new Electric Networked Vehicle (EN-V) that has been developed by global motor giant General Motors (GM) was created for the World Expo in Shanghai, and versions of the car have now been made for the UK, and they were revealed nationally last week.
If it is given the thumbs up then it will go through rigorous testing and development at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, where the vehicles are currently being stored.
Reporter Catherine Varney was invited down to take a look at the new vehicle and be one of the first in the country to ride in the electric car.
Project manager Tom Brown, who has been heavily involved with the construction of the vehicle since the beginning, gave me a test drive in the EN-V at the testing centre.
When you are in the vehicle, it feels like you are inside a tiny little bubble, and despite the vehicle only having two wheels you feel very safe. I was left wanting to ditch my boring four-wheeled peugeot that cannot drive itself or take me to the shops.
Tom explained: “EN-Vs work on two wheels. Unlike a motorcycle, which has a wheel on the front and the back, this has a wheel on either side. It balances a lot like a segway would.
“It has vehicle to vehicle technology. Really what that means is the V to V technology allows it to drive autonomously, which means that I am not need to drive it.
“The car can become another family member, a lot like a butler.”
He added: “It is great technology and I think it will really change that way we do things in the future and I look forward to my children being able to experience it.”
The Vauxhall Electric Networked Vehicle (EN-V) has two wheels and travels at a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour.
It has been designed to combat the growing problems of air pollution, congestion, and lack of parking space in big cities.
Spokesman for GM Denis Chick said: “This car is an insight into the future.
“It is something very different and it addresses the issues of congestion and cutting CO2 emissions. The amazing this about this car is it is autonomous, meaning it can talk to other vehicles on the road.
“So for example, on a typical day you could programme it to take the kids to school, come back and pick you up, take you to the hairdressers. It can then pick up your dry cleaning and come back and pick you up afterwards.
“It’ not just a car, it’s a lifestyle change. But it would only be able to work in towns and cities where there are only electric cars running. It’s a whole way of thinking, and one we need to get as many people on board with as possible for it to work.”
GM have created three types of the vehicle – the Xiao, which means laughter in Chinese. The car has an a nautical theme and has a fun character.
There is also the Jiao, which means pride and is designed for people who are fashion conscious, and finally the Miao, which means magic and has a high-technology theme.
It is hoped that the vehicles could be in operation by 2030 and would cost around £8,000.