THUNDER BAY – Lit Motors is in the process of creating a new, safe and stylish looking mode of transportation. The new two wheeled vehicle is a new class of vehicle, not quite a car or a motorcycle. The company states it is the first real safety innovation on a two-wheeled platform.
The new vehicle, in California where it is being created can use motorcycle parking, split lanes (in California), drive in the HOV lane – but no helmet or other safety gear are needed. There is seating for two adults, or one adult and about as much cargo as you can carry on a plane.
The LIT C-1 is fully enclosed, and fully electric, with a top speed of 100+ mph. The cruising range is up to 200 miles per charge.
It terms of speed the vehicle will go from 0-60 in under six seconds. The charge time is six hrs on a standard 120V connection, under four hrs on 220V, and less than a half hour to 80% on a 400-500V quick charge station.
What is really innovative is that the C-1 is self-balancing. It uses two gyroscopes with a combined output of 1300 ft-lbs of torque. This not only keeps the vehicle upright when stopped at a red light, but actively resists outside forces and will keep the vehicle upright even in a collision.
And since the gyros are completely controlled, the C-1 leans itself into and out of turns, maintaining the same robust stability throughout a turn.
The C-1 is not in full production yet, the first small production run in 2014 will sell for $US24K. Subsequent larger-scale production runs will sell for $16K or less.
Safety features: steel unibody chassis, seatbelts, airbags, and most importantly, the gyro stability system.
Other car-like features include climate control, fully operable windows, a convertible or moonroof option, sound system along with full smart phone + cloud integration, in all the ways one would expect from a newer high-tech car, plus new ways that the company says they will release details about in the future.
Here are some of the other features of the C-1:
– All critical systems are double- and triple-redundant, with mechanical backups to allow the driver to steer and stop the car even in a catastrophic failure of all systems. This includes the same “landing gear” that keeps the C-1 upright when parked.
– Very aerodynamic design, with a coefficient of drag of .17.
– Small, 8 kWh battery pack, with a virtual extra kWh provided by our patented KERS regen braking system. This uses the flywheels in the gyros as kinetic capacitors, with an 86% efficiency (about three times more efficient than conventional regen braking).
– Direct-drive, in-hub motors in both wheels provide lots of torque and stability/traction control while allowing for a much smaller body form
Lit Motors is currently accepting pre-orders via our site at litmotors.com/reserve, starting at $250