Ever give any thought to the infrastructure that goes into the world’s reliance on four-wheel personal automobiles? It’s almost unfathomable how humankind has completely altered huge tracts of land to create the highways, parking lots, and suburbs that arose with the automobile. But what if we could shrink cars down to a quarter of their size, without sacrificing comfort or safety?
Enter Lit Motors, a California-based company that is developing a two-wheeled enclosed electric motorcycle with a gyro-stabilizer. This stabilizer keeps the vehicle, called the C1, upright even at a complete stop. It would supposedly take the force of a small elephant to knock the prototype over.
Weighing in at under 1,000 pounds, the C1 utilizes an electric motor powering the rear wheel. With the agility and weight of a motorcycle, the C1 will have a range of around 220 miles per charge with a 0-60 mph time of under six seconds. The top speed will be around 120 mph thanks to the 110 horsepower electric motor. All from an 8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, a pack small enough that price should be around $24,000.
That is of course if Lit Motors and its founder, Daniel Kim, can find the cash to actually develop a production version. As the exclusive Wired expose reveals, the $200,000 prototype is still very much a work-in-progress, though at the very least the gyro-stabilizer works as advertised.
If such vehicles were to catch on with the public, I could foresee them revolutionizing our transportation infrastructure. Imagine smaller, less intrusive highways with tighter turns. Smaller parking lots, perhaps on a multi-level system that stores and returns your vehicle on an as-needed basis. We could reclaim much of what we lost to the huge highways that dominate the landscape, without sacrificing the comfort and performance we’ve come to expect.
Will such a vehicle work for everyone? No, of course not…but it could work for a lot of people, especially if gas prices keep creeping up year after year.
Source: Wired | Image: Jon Snyder/Wired