GM PUMA Electric Cars Enter Prototype Phase

Small Electric Cars Could Offer Zero Emissions In Cities

General Motors Corp and Segway Inc are still developing electric cars called the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (PUMA). The vehicles are still in its prototype phase and are used as demonstrations. It could allow people to commute more conveniently around cities and to avoid traffic.

Electric automobiles are seen as the future for most automakers. They use clean energy and are powered by batteries. They run quiet and could help people travel around cities more quickly and frequently.

The project, dubbed P.U.M.A. or PUMA, is a two-seat electric car that has two wheels. GM believes that the new vehicles enable design creativity, fashion, fun and social networking. PUMA combines several technologies to increase mobility freedom with zero emissions.

GM recently filed for bankruptcy protection but its Chevy Volt and the PUMA project are still conducting business as usual. The automaker is changing and its direction is heading towards electric alternative and reusable energies to power future automobiles. Critics of the project feel that the two-wheel car is nothing more than a two-seat scooter.

Some city officials, especially large metropolitan, welcome the idea to use these vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and traffic. Large cities could develop special lanes for these smaller cars. However, would people buy and use these electric vehicles?

These new electric cars are equipped with safety measures and provide enjoyment for the driver. The vehicles use fewer parts and could provide productivity. They are designed to get a passenger from point A to point B without congesting the roadways.

The lithium-ion battery automobiles are built using the same technology as the Segway Personal Transporters (PTs). The new prototype expands upon the PTs idea and is capable of traveling speeds of up to 35 mph. The battery life is about 35 miles before it needs to recharge.

GM estimates that it will cost $.60 (sixty cents) in electricity to recharge the car. This means that for every 35 miles of travel, the driver will need to plug into any 110 volt electrical outlet. The vehicle can be ready to operate again in just a few hours upon the recharge.

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