General Motors has unveiled its vision of the urban transportation of the future ahead of the start of the Shanghai World Expo in May.

The company, alongside its partner the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, unveiled three Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V) concepts March 24 as a way to "alleviate concerns surrounding traffic congestion, parking availability, air quality and affordability for tomorrow's cities."

The all-electric EN-V is a two-wheel, two-passenger personal mobility vehicle that uses lithium ion batteries with a range of approximately 40 km and a top speed of 40 km/h. The vehicle is about 1.5 meters in length and approximately one sixth the size of a passenger car.

Charged using ordinary household outlets, GM says that the vehicle has operating costs around a third to a quarter of a conventional passenger car.

Using GPS, the car could theoretically be "drive by wire" - combining satellite navigation with traffic data to select the fastest route for that particular time of day. Using cameras and sensors mounted on the vehicle, it can also "see" obstructions and decelerate rapidly in the event of a hazard.

"EN-V reinvents the automobile by creating a new vehicle DNA through the convergence of electrification and connectivity, said GM China boss Kevin Wale.

"It provides an ideal solution for urban mobility that enables future driving to be free from petroleum and emissions, free from congestion and accidents, and more fun and fashionable than ever before."

Earlier this month, Honda unveiled its 3R-C urban transport concept, aimed to address similar issues. Designed for only one occupant, the three-wheeler featured a clear canopy to protect the driver and could be made in either electric or fuel cell variants.

The EN-V will be on show at the SAIC/GM Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo when it opens on May 1.