Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New 2-wheeled "Car" from GM and Segway

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General Motors Corp. and Segway Inc. finally annouced the PUMA today. It's not just another hyprid or electric car; it's a "Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility" (PUMA) vehicle. It has only two wheels and two seats, but will get you around at a whopping 35 MPH. The prototype weights 300 pounds, and can run for 35 miles on one charge of its rechargeable lithium ion battery. Larry Burns, the vice president of research for GM says that the PUMA will not have airbags and will only have safety belts for "comfort purposes" only. Why you ask? Well, it's designed to avoid obstacles like pedestrians and other cars. It definitely seems to be geared mostly toward urban travel, so avoiding obstacles like umm... people... is definitely a plus. It might even be quicker than a regular car if you are usually in heavy traffic areas most of the time anyway (provided you won't be required to stay in the normal lanes ... which would only make it a gas saver and not a time saver).

Is this what GM needs? Maybe, but if they are allowed offroad, then I'm not sure how many of these PUMA's will be able to fit on a sidewalk.

Looks like this could be some competition to Panther Motors' Scoot Coupe 2009. We'll se how this super small 2- or 3-wheeled mini-car trend plays out soon enough.

Neither GM nor Segway disclosed a price for the P.U.M.A. yet, but did reveal that the operating cost would be around one third or less than the average regular car. This includes the purchase price, insurance, maintenance, and fuel.

3 comments:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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  2. Reminds me a lot of a motorized wheelchair. Except this one would go up to 35 mph. Not exactly what GM needs to boost their sales up right now. I don't see people lining up to buy this vehicle.

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  3. @car girls
    Wow, it does look like that! And I have to agree that this thing won't cut it for GM.

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