Lit Motors designed self-balancing electric motorcycle

The company raised over $1 million via crowdfunding to optimize urban transportation.

A San Francisco-based transportation company called Lit Motors has designed a self-balancing, fully-enclosed electric motorcycle that can transform urban mobility. 

In 2010, its founder Daniel Kim, an alumnus of University of California Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was struck by an idea to merge the agility of motorcycles with the protective features of cars upon learning from official statistics that 75% of cars typically have only one occupant, realizing that too much space and material is used for daily commutes.

An AEV without its protective elements. Credit: Lit Motors

Lit Motors engineers, who came from tech giants such as Raytheon, Honeywell, and Audi, not only challenged conventional vehicle design but also built a more secure type of transportation.

The result is a compact, fully-enclosed Auto-Balancing Electric Vehicle in one- and two-seat versions.

It is narrow enough to easily navigate between lanes – thus reducing traffic congestion and saving time – and is capable of reaching speeds over 160 km/hour (100 mph).

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The 455-kilogram AEV boasts a set of gyroscopes for balance, ensuring stability that surpasses traditional two-wheelers and providing a driving experience that still captures the feeling of motorcycle riding. This balance system, plus full enclosure, is crucial for safety and enhances the vehicle’s dynamic capabilities, particularly in turning and cornering at angles up to 45 degrees.

Full battery charging lasts just five minutes using a Tesla Supercharger or six hours with a standard 110V outlet. Each charge cost only $1.25 and allows a range of some 270 kilometers, or 170 miles.

Kim has funded his project thanks to crowdfunding via WeFunder, raising $1.1 million from the public.

Lit Motors has an ambitious plan to manufacture one million units a year. The starting price for the AEV is set at $32,000 including a $250 reservation fee.

In parallel, the company has designed a self-balancing scooter, Kubo, to ease the job of people employed in the booming delivery business (pictured above).

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