Skip to comments.A Motorcycle Car That Makes Commuting Easier
Posted on 12/10/2012 1:20:35 AM PST by nickcarraway
Daniel Kim was trying to build a drivable truck from scratch. While lying on his back one day in the shop, the 500-pound chassis hung above him. It started to teeter, then fell, barely missing Kims face. His life spared, Kim had his aha moment. Just over three-quarters of commuters drive alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, so why are cars so big and bulky?
Kims idea was to cut the traditional car in half, the concept behind the fully electric vehicle dubbed the C-1 that his San Francisco-based company Lit Motors is developing for the next decade. It resembles a motorcycle but with with an exterior around a single driver, with space for an occasional passenger. Two wheels keep the vehicle agile, and two gyroscopes keep it upright, even in an accident. Top speed? Over 100 miles per hour. And the most stunning part is the price. Kim believes that at full scale, Lit can sell the C-1 for $12,500 in developing countries like India and China, slightly more in the U.S.
Other companies have picked up similar goals to steer the future. Myers Motors in Tallmadge, Ohio, has developed a three-wheel car for one person. Now engineers are working on a two-person model, essentially cutting out all the extra space youd find in a traditional coup. People who commute fewer than 30 miles to work dont need expansive trunk space, so the smaller frame is designed to make roads and parking lots less congested and more efficient.
I visited Lits San Francisco offices just south of Market Street, an area teeming with new start-ups, to see some transportation ideas of the future. The C-1 isnt all that Lit has cooking. A cargo scooter that can hold a 22-inch cube is Lits answer to needs in developing regions in Africa or the Middle East where people spend large amounts of time hauling this like water or food. We even developed it to hold nine extra large pizzas and a few liters of soda, Lits chief marketing officer Ryan James said. People all around the world could use it.
Sitting in the vehicles gives an idea of what commuting through a city or delivering pizzas might one day be like. Were trying to build a future transportation, Kim told me. For now, the challenge is to raise more money and scale the technology for wider production. Whether or not youll soon see Lits vehicles on a road near you, Kim says that the company has already taken pre-orders for 500 C1s. Theyre expected for delivery in just over a year.
I wouldn’t drive one, but I think there’s probably a market for it. More power to him!
I wonder what keeps it upright when the gyros aren’t running.
12 grand ?
My thought as well. For $8K I’d get one for my 5 mile commute.
Magic pixie dust.
Two wheels and all electric? For a “measly” twelve grand? No sale.
I would prefer bubble cars over something like this. At least you get three wheels (four on some models) and an internal-combustion engine that can run at highway speeds (if you go with two cylinders that is). Back in the day, you would not pay ridiculous prices for cars like that; but given today’s bizarre market, even supposed “Smart” cars cost more than four-seaters.
I wonder why he needs to have gyros instead of just making it a tricycle? It would probably lower the price to 8k
“I wonder why he needs to have gyros instead of just making it a tricycle? It would probably lower the price to 8k”
Ditto to that.
I would rather get a CanAm and play around with some form of removable convertible top.
BTW I own three bikes, a Star 1300, Honda CX650 and a CX500.
A Ural bike with its rear drive wheels both powered would be another candidate.
This isn’t something I would want a greyhound bus or a large semi rig to pass me on the highway at high speeds.
A good idea but limited to Utopia of The Fantasyland.
“A good idea but limited to Utopia of The Fantasyland.”
Driven fast enough, vehicles like that are still heavy enough to kill a pedestrian or cyclist.
not fairyland — these would have their place for short commutes or intra-city
Casters on the ends of retractable telescopic struts to assist the front wheel when the slow speed/balance point is approached... When the bike accelerates, the struts retract back up into the shell.
Check out the Monotracer. The idea has been executed on for over 25 years.
The Monotracer is available in both gas and electric versions, but it doesn cost a bit more than $12k.
He’s saying more than $12.5k for this? Nope... When someone can do this for half that, then we have an idea.
$12K for an idea someone thought of in a moment while almost being killed for not adequately supporting a vehicle they were under?!?
“It started to teeter, then fell, barely missing Kims face.”
As I’ve posted many times before...you gotta be tough
to be dumb.
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