Imagine a vehicle that’s smaller than a Smart Car, nearly a third of the price of a Nissan Leaf ($32,500), safer than a motorcycle with a range capacity that just lets you drive and won’t ever tip over? What you get is Lit Motors‘ C-1, the world’s first gyroscopically stabilized, two-wheeled all-electric vehicle. The C-1 will talk to your smartphone and the cloud. And, as impossible as it sounds, you can’t tip the car over.
Founder, President, and CTO Danny Kim and his team at Lit Motors have built and approached the C-1 much differently than others have with their respective electric vehicles. Instead of using existing technologies, the C-1 has been designed, machined, and built by hand from the ground up in San Francisco.
“We aim to be the future of personal transportation,” Kim said. “By taking our vehicles to the mass market quickly and internationally, we will ease traffic congestion, decrease fuel use, reduce CO2 emissions, create 2,000 to 10,000 green jobs, and allow people to get around quickly and efficiently.”
It is not only expected to top out at over 100 MPH but has an estimated range of up to 200 miles per charge and will go from 0-60 in roughly six seconds. The car is equipped with AC, power windows, and airbags.
The gyroscopic technology at its core can be used elsewhere to keep things level, such as airplanes or boats or even on top of buildings in high wind areas. Leveling suspension in sports cars could be the second largest application.
The extended range of the C-1 is also assisted by a KERS regenerative braking system, which uses flywheels to store energy kinetically. These flywheels are also part of the gyroscopic stabilization system keeping the vehicle upright in all situations – even a collision – while allowing the control system to dictate the tilt and lean of the vehicle at all times. In other words, as the gyros spin, downforce is created to keep the vehicle stable and level.
The initial price will be $24,000 when the C-1 is expected to launch in 2014 and will take a year or two to drop down to $16,000. As it scales to being mass marketed around 2018, the price of the C-1 will drop down to $12,500.