Technology

Developers create new electric vehicle

Friday, June 08, 2012

It's part car, part motorcycle and all electric. A local team of engineers is developing what they call a whole new class of vehicle that they say is perfect for the Bay Area. ABC7 takes a look at what it is and how it works.

"This is the future," said Daniel Kim.

He is the inventor of a little pod-shaped vehicle and the founder of Lit Motors.

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"The name 'Lit' comes in the past tense, it talks about the paradigm shift from the combustion engine to the electric motor," said Kim.

There is one electric motor that pushes the vehicle forward and the four others that keep it standing still. The Lit Motors C-1 only has two wheels, but thanks to a pair of powerful gyroscopes, it stands up as if it had four.

When asked if it feels like a car, control engineer Kevin Lomeli said, "It will feel when you're sitting in it like a car, but it'll drive like a motorcycle."

Lit gave us one video of their prototype driving on a San Francisco street and coming to a stop, standing up. And in another video, they show how hard it is to knock over, by pulling on it with a Land Rover.

Kim: You'd need a baby elephant to knock it over.

Bloom: How angry would the baby elephant have to be?

Kim: It would have to be a pretty angry baby elephant.

Despite its small size, the vehicle actually has about as much room in the driver's seat as a Honda Civic. And there's room in the back for a suitcase or a passenger, if you're willing to get cozy.

"For a lot of single people that live in the city, this could end up being their only vehicle. For a lot of families, this would end up being a secondary vehicle," said Ryan James, the chief marketing officer.

And it's not just for around town, but for commuting. Lit's designers claim these batteries will carry the C-1 200 miles on a six-hour charge -- that's double the range of a Nissan Leaf. And since it's technically a motorcycle, it can go between lanes or in the carpool lane to dodge traffic.

They expect it to cost about $24,000 when it launches in two years. Kim promises a test drive like none other.

"It's really fun actually to defy gravity," said Kim.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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electric vehicles, technology, jonathan bloom
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