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Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Segway With A Seat, P.U.M.A.
According to Segway and GM the Personalized Urban Mobility & Accessibility vehicle will reinvent urban transportation. Perhaps the enormous pressure the government is putting on GM to reinvent themselves has helped to put this puppy on the front burner. They claim it will seat two people but one of them better be diminutive. The PUMA makes the Smart Car look gargantuan. It appears to be a tricked out wheelchair but Segway claims it will do 35mph. A fender bender in this “vehicle” would most likely be more like a fender eater. Although for those of us who have hit the open road on bikes of any type, cycles, scooters or pedal, the result would be the same in a fender bender so I don’t think that should preclude considering this as your ride. Guys, it has automatic curb appeal to eco-chicks. Girls, your date will be happy to pop it in the back of his SUV if you run out of juice. The makers claim it will go 25 to 35 miles per charge and that each charge will be approximately $0.60. I personally would spend more recharging my personal battery at the donut shop after pedaling 30 miles. In these leaner, meaner times maybe a re-evaluation of how we get places is necessary. Although the PUMA is currently a prototype with all the pressure to provide more economic alternatives to the auto, we may see a working model on the streets sooner than we think.