GM & Segway Partner on PUMA Urban Vehicle
April 7, 2009 · Print This Article
Allright, this is sweet… especially to a guy who loves Segways (that’s me). GM and Segway are working together on a two seater mini-car that they hope will decongest big cities (some pictures). They’re calling it PUMA for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility. For one, it’s really cool. It has two wheels (plus four more little training wheels on the prototype) like a Segway but has seats like a car. In fact, two little seats. Secondly, it will use energy as efficiently as a car that gets 200 miles per gallon. Fantastic. They make a few good points about the demand for this vehicle probably coming from outside of the US where bicycles are currently a primary method of transportation.
Although I do understand that an electric vehicle is clean energy and if it replaced normal vehicles it would remove some congestion from big cities where cars are the primary mode of transportation, I don’t get how this would really benefit cities where everyone bikes. You can fit more bikers in an area than PUMAers and biking is clearly a very clean energy. So, at the moment it seems that the target market of their product wouldn’t receive the primary benefit of this vehicle. Regardless, it’s a Segway so I think it’s totally cool. I drive two miles to and from work each day so a super lightweight vehicle that I could plug in at night that had 35 miles of range during the day would be more than I need. Thank goodness I can take back roads (two lane roads) to work. This thing would become a pancake in an instant on I-40.