What You Will Drive in the Future: Lit Motors C-1

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In drawing competitions, kids are always asked to envision the future in 2020 and flying cars are a regular feature in the kids’ artwork. Today, just seven years shy of the intended “future”, how close are we to that vision?

Every year, the automotive marques are still putting out models/design/technology that mostly seem to be geared towards increasing power and luxury with scant attention to electric or hybrid technology. Much of that is driven by the commercial reality of technologies that have not matured yet for the mass market. We are left with using cars which are only about 20-25% efficient on fossil fuel.

Then there is the issue of wasted space because single drivers make upwards to 75% of the total number of cars on the road at any one time. The space saving bicycle with 95% energy efficiency has been in the market since the early 19th century; yet, it’s popularity is still low as a regular commute vehicle in Malaysia because no one would dream of cycling to work where the average daily temperature is 30-35°C with a humidity up to 89% whilst trying to not get run over by any of the 22.7 million vehicles registered in Malaysia as of 2012. The fact it’s lacking in creature comforts and space for kids, shopping, golf bags and luggage does not help either. So here is the next best thing we at SUMO are putting our money in, the Lit Motors’ C-1.

The C-1 is a full electric 2 wheeled vehicle that is a cross between a car and a motorcycle and seats two people. Lit Motors states it has the ability to travel at 160kph, 0 to 100kph in less than 6 seconds and a range of 320 km per charge (a weekend trip to Melaka and back). Physically it weighs 320 kg, and has a dimension of 2.8m long, 1.4 m tall and 1m wide. So, what’s so special about this prototype you say? Well, imagine a motorcycle having a steering wheel and pedal instead of handlebars and throttle and has the ability to go forward and backwards! On top of that, you’ll have a roof over your head to protect you from the elements; that’s the C-1.
Now that you’ve seen it, you must be wondering how the vehicle is going to balance itself when it’s not in motion. You can’t hope to prop it up using your legs as in a normal motorbike because the C-1 has doors. It would look odd opening the door and sticking your leg out every time you’re at the traffic light. The C-1 took a page from the Hubble Telescope and utilizes two gyroscopes to help it balance perfectly on its own when the engine is running while allowing an impressive tilt of 45° to lean itself in and out of turns. When parked, a “landing gear” will be in place to keep it upright in a parking space meant for a motorcycle. Apart from that, additional safety features such as a steel uni-body chassis with reinforced doors, seat belts, and multiple airbags will ensure the safety of both driver and passenger (or groceries).

The C-1 will be starting production by 2014 and has been estimated to retail at USD $24,000, so if you’d like to own one do head over to Lit Motors and talk to them. We know we will be among the first 10,000 recipients to own a C-1 because in 2012, SUMO’s managing director, Marina Yong, has already placed a deposit on a unit and officially became the 2214th person to reserve the C1.

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