GM Unveils New “Envy” and “Pride” Models, “Lust” and “Sloth” to Come

I’ve railed on General Motors and Segway in the past for the myriad impracticalities of their tandem Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (P.U.M.A.) prototype. Now they’re at it again, making headlines today by unveiling the first three models in their new Electric Networked Vehicle (EN-V, pronounced "envy") line, including the Jiao, which is Chinese for "Pride."

Someone please tell their marketing department to come up
with a new name for the next iteration of this concept vehicle. Seriously, pinning the hopes for resuscitating the image of your flailing car company on the deadly sins? If I may, here’s a suggestion for the hybrid-electric Suburban you may or may not be considering in the future: The Chevy "Glut-ton-E."

The product launch comes complete with dubious claims about the vehicles. They don’t pollute! They’re small enough to get through traffic!

But until we get electricity production to be non-polluting, these vehicles will effectively still have tailpipes, albeit much further from your city, where you don’t have to worry so much about those unregulated coal ash sumps giving someone else cancer. And how exactly will they bypass traffic — bike lanes?

Snide commentary aside, I think GM is missing a link in the evolution of mobility. How do these things fill a need? They take all the convenience of cars, reduce carrying capacity, and limit the maximum speed to 25 mph. Of course, I’m not arguing that slower speeds in cities are bad, I just don’t understand who’s supposed to be the target market. Someone help me out. Do these products have a practical function?

And I’ll come back to my own bias and state the obvious: Cities already have personal urban mobility devices that don’t pollute.



DC Inspires Bike Lane Envy With Curb-Protected Cycling

Here’s a good sign that protected bike lanes are here to stay in American cities: Cities are increasingly trading plastic bollards for concrete curbs, making the lanes a more permanent feature of the landscape. As I reported for People for Bikes last year, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, New York and Portland have all either installed or plan to install curb-protected […]

Chicago Bike Lane Envy Sweeps the Nation

Who would have thunk it just two years ago: Portland, Seattle — even some New York City residents — jealous of Chicago’s cutting-edge bike infrastructure. But here we sit, roughly a year and a half into Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first term, and the city of Chicago has a protected, bi-directional bike lane running directly through the […]

This Week: Byke Pride, Balboa Park, Broadway/Valdez

Here are this week’s highlights from the Streetsblog calendar: Tuesday Byke Pride Service Station. Get ready to show off your byke pride. The SFBC’s Bicycle Ambassadors will be at the corner of Market and Octavia with the latest on their work, all sorts of snacks, and everything you need to know about riding in the Pride […]