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GM, Segway to Partner on Two-Wheeled Battery-Powered Vehicle

General Motors (GM) and scooter manufacturer Segway Inc. will form a partnership to develop a two-wheeled, battery-powered vehicle known as Project P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility). A joint statement from the companies says that the two-seat vehicle is being created as an alternative mode of transportation to allow people in cities to travel more quickly at a lower total cost. "Project P.U.M.A. represents a unique solution to moving about and interacting in cities, where more than half of the world's people live," says Larry Burns, GM vice president of research and development, and strategic planning. "Imagine small, nimble electric vehicles that know where other moving objects are and avoid running into them. Now, connect those vehicles in an Internet-like web and you can greatly enhance the ability of people to move through cities, find places to park, and connect to their social and business networks." The 300-pound vehicle, a prototype of which has already been demonstrated for the media, runs on a lithium-ion battery and can travel at speeds up to 35 miles per hour with a range of up to 35 miles between charges. GM's Burns says the vehicle will cost one-fourth to one-third of what it costs to own and operate an average automobile. The companies did not set a timeline for production of the vehicle or indicate where it will be produced or retail cost.

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