Lit Motors

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Lit Motors Inc.
Industry Transport
Founded 2010
Headquarters San Francisco, US
Key people
Daniel Kim
Products Electric Vehicles

Lit Motors Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that designs two-wheeled vehicles, including a fully electric, gyroscopically stabilized vehicle.[1]

Founded by Daniel K. Kim in 2010, Lit Motors designed and prototyped a product named the C-1. The company website originally stated that production would start in late 2014, but announced in Winter 2014 that production will be delayed. There is currently no production timeline.

The inspiration for Lit Motors came to Kim in 2003, when he was nearly crushed by a chassis while manually assembling a bio-diesel Land Rover Defender 90.[2] Kim's decided to "chop a car in half" to create what is now the C-1.[3]




In early 2010, the company revealed a non-functioning show model of the C-1. The design vision includes an enclosed and self-balancing two-wheeled vehicle balanced by two single-gimbal CMGs,[4] to be powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries. Design specifications indicate that this could hold a second passenger, though no model or pictures other than computer renderings show more than single-passenger capacity. The computer renderings of a two passenger model indicate that the tight space would not be suitable for long trips, as the area behind the driver's seat is very limited, in a semi-reclined position.

In 2012 the company announced plans for a first small production run in 2013, selling the C-1 for $24,000. The company began taking pre-order deposits through a tiered system priced from $250 to $10,000.[5] The production date was later moved to Q4 2014. As of June 2015, there has been no announcement as to a production timeline, and company postings on social media show only a rough model alpha prototype driven at low speed. With limited pictures and videos of an unfinished single seat vehicle driven at low speeds, and with audio removed from videos, critics are weary to expect that a production model could possibly be built in the next few years, if ever.

Release Balancing gyroscope Torque Motor Output Top Speed Range per charge Charge time
2014 1,300 ft-lbs 20 kW 100+ mph At least 150 miles 4-6 hrs

The original C-1 design has two wheels, but also includes a steering wheel. Direct-drive in-hub motors in both wheels were designed to provide a high amount torque, stability, and traction control, while allowing for body form much smaller than a car. The alpha prototype shows both wheels without direct drive, indicating that the design may be undergoing changes.[6][7] Designs show a passenger seat behind the driver, though not intended for frequent use.

Safety features will include a steel unibody chassis, seat belts, airbags, and a gyroscope stability system.[1]


The Lit Motors Kubo was a cargo scooter previously planned for development that is indefinitely on hold.[8] The company called the Kubo the "pick-up truck of the developing world."[9] Similar to the C-1 design, the Cargo Scooter design is fully electric.

The Cargo Scooter would have run on lithium iron phosphate batteries, and was designed to carry cargo boxes measuring up to 22 in. by 22 in. by 22 in. and weighing up to 300 pounds, with a top speed of 35 mph, and a range of 50–100 miles per charge.[10]

Kubo was launched on Kickstarter, but failed to achieve its funding goal.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lavrinc, Damon (2012-05-29). "Exclusive: This Is the Gyro-Stabilized, Two-Wheeled Future of Transportation | Autopia". Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  2. ^ Carpenter, Susan (2012-05-26). "Lit Motors hopes its C-1 becomes new personal transportation option". Tribune Newspapers. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  3. ^ Daniel Kim. "Fortune Presentation". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  4. ^ "Lit Motors unveils all-electric, fully enclosed motorcycle". YouTube. 2011-09-12. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  5. ^ "World’s First Gyroscopically Stabilized Electric Motorcycle: Virtually Uncrashable?". Discovery Channel. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  6. ^ "Gyro-stabilized electric motorcycle hits road". Los Angeles Times. 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  7. ^ "It will take a 'baby elephant' to knock over this bike". Click (TV programme). 2012-12-11. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  8. ^ Mac, Ryan (March 5, 2014). "Two-Wheeled Electric Vehicle Builder Finds Funding". Forbes. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Lit Motors’ Foldable Electric Scooter Is A Cargo Carrier For Developing Nations". Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  10. ^ Domenick Yoney. "Lit Motors looks to light up electric vehicle market with cargo scooter" (VIDEO). AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  11. ^ "Meet kubo: an electric scooter to carry all your stuff!". Retrieved 2013-11-23. 

External links[edit]