Preparing for people who share cars
A PREDICTION by an expert on disruptive technologies and a roll-out in China took the rise of the electric vehicle a step further this week.
Thomas Bartman, a member of the Forum for Growth and Innovation, a Harvard Business School think-tank studying disruptive innovation, published his view that low-speed electric vehicles like golf carts and airport vehicles will have a far greater impact on the future of transport than the likes of Tesla or BMW. His prediction seems to be borne out of a two-year vehicle-sharing pilot programme rolled out this week by General Motors and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) in Shanghai.
The programme features 16 tiny Chevrolet EN-V 2,0 electric concept vehicles that will be integrated into the multimodal transportation system at SJTU’s Minhang campus alongside bicycles, cars and shuttle buses. They will help meet users’ “first mile, last mile” transportation needs.
“This programme will allow us to understand better how people could use an urban mobility vehicle such as Chevrolet EN-V 2,0 in a real-world setting and in a vehicle-sharing arrangement,” said president of GM China Matt Tsien. “It represents an important step toward transforming GM’s vision for sustainable urban mobility into reality.”
Eligible drivers selected from among qualified faculty members and graduate students at SJTU will prepay a set membership fee to offset the cost of using the EN-V 2,0s. This will support a simple and seamless locating, renting and driving experience. GM engineers and SJTU staff and students will work together to collect and analyse data from the vehicles’ operation and users’ input, and share findings on usage patterns and vehicle requirements.
The Chevrolet EN-V 2,0 is the next generation of GM’s original Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V), which made its global debut at Expo 2010 in Shanghai. It can travel up to 40 kilometres on a single charge with a top speed of 30 km/h.
The vehicle works by combining electric drive with easy-swipe card access for entry, fees and starting; cameras for a rear view; and GPS, OnStar and tabletbased smartphone technologies.
Chevrolet is preparing for a world in which young people share vehicles, rather than own them, with a ride-sharing pilot programme at a Chinese university.