General Motors (GM) is beginning urban pilot programs for its ‘EN-V’ zero-emissions concept vehicles, to determine the real-world practicality of the cars. Testing is planned to begin in the experimental Sino-Singapore Tianjin eco-city outside of Tianjin, China, although Chevrolet is investigating other locations both internationally and in the US for potential pilot programs.
Moved under the purview of GM’s Chevrolet brand, the ‘EN-V’ includes three models of two-seater electric urban vehicles. All are powered by lithium-ion batteries that recharge from conventional outlets to a range of 25 miles (40 km). In addition to manual mode, an autonomous mode is connected to intravehicle communications and traffic infrastructure, permitting the vehicle be used by people otherwise unable to drive as well as offering future options for route optimization based on traffic, knowledge of the state of the electric grid to determine recharging times, and assistance in the finding of available parking spaces.