About the C-1
What are the basic specs of the C-1?
The C-1 will have a top speed of 100+ mph (160+ kph), 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) in <6 seconds, and a range of 200 miles (320 km) per charge. Dimensions: 800 lbs. (360 kg) curb weight, 112″ (2.8 m) long, 55″ (1.4 m) tall, 40″ (1 m) wide. As we are not yet at production, all figures are best estimates.
When will the C-1 be available?
Our current target is to begin production in late 2014, with deliveries to follow soon after. We’ll release more detailed timelines in the future as we near production. Check back here for all the latest updates and developments!
How does the C-1 stay upright?
The C-1 is self-balancing, using two gyroscopes to keep the vehicle upright when stopped. The C-1 has “landing gear” which are deployed when parked to keep the vehicle upright. The gyros are fully controlled by the vehicle, enabling a steer-by-wire system that allows the C-1 to lean itself into and out of turns, maintaining stability at all times. And yes, it has a reverse gear!
How does the steering work? Do I need to counter steer?
Like any two-wheeled vehicle, the C-1 leans into turns. At speed, the front wheel turns only slightly, and the turn is accomplished through the lean. However, the C-1 uses a steer-by-wire system. That allows it to have the familiar, intuitive interface of a car, while using two-wheeled turning dynamics. This is where the gyro technology gets really interesting: the C-1 takes information from a wide array of sensors to determine everything that’s going on around it, from road surface conditions to wind to traffic. The vehicle is then able to take input from the driver – from the steering wheel and accelerator/brake pedals – and translate that into both movement of the front wheel and a precise lean angle to complete the desired turn. With a car-like interface and motorcycle dynamics, the C-1 will have a driving experience that is both intuitive and very unique—and very, very fun!
Of course, things can (and will) always go wrong, so all critical systems are double- or triple-redundant. We’re using aerospace standards for redundancy and failsafes. Additionally, the steering has a direct mechanical backup linkage, so the driver will be able to control the C-1 no matter what happens.
How much will the C-1 cost to own and operate? What maintenance will be necessary?
The C-1 has a very low parts count as compared to a typical car—approximately 1/10 the total parts and assemblies! Fewer parts means less and cheaper maintenance. We’ll release more specifics about maintenance in the future as we near production.
We’ll cover TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) in much more depth in the future, but here are some very basic, preliminary numbers and comparisons:
Caveats: Prices are close, but may not be exact comparisons (certain fees may be included in some and not others). Cost per mile will vary widely by location, given local rates. Cost per year will also vary widely, given actual driving behavior. Maintenance is not included, and may change TCO significantly. For MPGe, we used the same simplified formula for each vehicle: MPGe = (33.7*range)/battery size. This simplified formula gives slightly different numbers from the EPA’s official (and much more complex) formula, but the relative comparison is valid.
Is the C-1 electric? Does it use solar panels?
Yep! The C-1 is fully-electric, using high torque, direct drive, in-hub motors. This allows for a smaller, simpler body and quick, efficient driving. Since the C-1 is so small, solar panels would not generate much electricity. We’re instead looking at ways to partner with existing solar/wind providers to ensure your C-1 is powered with green energy.
What are the safety features of the C-1?
Safety is one of our top priorities with this vehicle. The C-1 will have a steel unibody chassis with reinforced doors, seat belts, and multiple airbags. However, the most important safety feature is our gyro stability system. This will keep the C-1 upright even in a collision, preventing the vehicle from flipping or rolling. All critical systems are double- or triple-redundant, with mechanical backups to allow the driver to steer and stop the car even in a catastrophic failure of all systems. This includes the same “landing gear” that keeps the C-1 upright when parked.
How much will the C-1 cost?
The base price of the C-1 will be approximately $24,000 USD. The effective price could be much lower, depending on available EV incentives in your area. Check out our chart below (“What can you tell me about EV incentives?”) to determine potential incentives in your area.
Will I fit in the C-1?
We designed the C-1 to accommodate drivers from 5’ to 6’3”—however, we’ve had people up to 6’5” fit comfortably in our prototypes. The C-1 was not designed for a specific weight limit; the motors are quite powerful, so weight should not be an issue.
How much cargo can the C-1 hold? Can it carry a passenger?
In addition to the driver: the C-1 has enough space for an adult passenger and a small bag, or about the same amount of cargo you can carry on a plane (roller bag, briefcase, a few bags of groceries).
What can you tell me about the battery and charging?
We’re currently using lithium iron phosphate batteries. Given the modular nature of the C-1, we can easily upgrade to new battery technology as it comes to market (including on existing C-1′s!). Because of the C-1′s small size, we only need a 10 kWh battery pack, which is supplemented with our patented KERS regen braking system, giving another virtual kWh.
The C-1 will feature an onboard charger, able to charge from any standard wall outlet (120V) in about six hours. Higher-voltage charging options will be available, yielding a four hour charge time from 220V outlets and an 80% charge in about a half hour from DC quick charge stations.
As with all EVs, the battery pack will eventually need to be replaced. However, since it is 1/3 – 1/8 the size of a typical EV battery pack, the replacement cost will be much, much more affordable. And we’re using a cooling system similar to Tesla’s, so we should be able to offer a similar warranty.
Will the C-1 be able to handle inclement weather? Off-road?
Because the C-1 is all-wheel drive and has our gyro stability system, it will handle as well as, if not better than, any other all-wheel drive car in inclement weather. And yes, we do plan to eventually develop different vehicles on the C-1 platform, including an off-road version.
What options or features will be available for the C-1?
Exact details will be released as we near production, but you can expect the C-1 to have all the same amenities you would expect in a car, including climate control, sound system, and much more!
Is there a warranty? Where will I go to service my C-1?
Details concerning service, maintenance, and warranty will be released as we near production – but rest assured, we will stand firmly behind our vehicle.
How would the C-1 work with my commute? How would it save me time?
The C-1 is the ultimate in urban transportation. The small size of the C-1 allows you to lane split, share a lane with another C-1, use the HOV lane, use motorcycle-specific parking, and the many other advantages . We estimate the C-1 will cut most commute times by up to 50%. If you live in the city, this could be your primary vehicle: easy to park and slip through traffic, with carsharing services like Zipcar or traditional car rentals available when you need a larger vehicle or an extended road trip. If you live outside the city, this could be your primary commuting vehicle, with a larger “family car” at home. This allows the commuter(s) in the family to travel in, around, and out of the city easily and efficiently, saving money and time every day.
Is the C-1 street legal? What kind of license do I need?
Yes, the C-1 will be 100% street legal, and we’re working to make sure that only a standard driver’s license will be needed, with no motorcycle endorsement required. We’ll share updates on our progress with that as we near production.
When will the C-1 be available in my country?
Exact details of our international distribution plan will be released as we near production. However, we are currently accepting pre-orders, which will be available to import to your country. We’ll release more details about registration and homologation in the future.
Will the C-1 qualify for EV incentives?
Electric vehicle incentives are available in many areas. We’re working right now to make sure the C-1 will qualify for as many EV incentives as we can; we’ll release more details as we near production.
What will shipping costs be? Will you deliver outside of California?
Yes, the C-1 will be available for export worldwide. We’ll announce more about delivery and other details as we near production.
Didn't BMW already use the name 'C-1'?
Yep, they did (as did Chevrolet, Citroën, and a variety of others). “C-1″ is just a working name for our vehicle; it will change as we near production.
About Lit Motors
Can I visit Lit Motors? Do you offer public tours or test drives?
Unfortunately we do not currently offer public tours or test drives. We may offer this in the future – keep an eye out for updates!
Are you a publicly-traded company? How can I invest in Lit Motors?
We are not currently a publicly-traded company, though we may move in that direction in the future. Due to federal regulations, we can only accept investment from SEC-accredited investors. If you qualify, please see more information on our AngelList profile and contact us if you have further questions.
Are you hiring?
We’re currently seeking to fill a select few specialized, experienced roles. See more information on our careers page.
What can you tell me about the cargo scooter?
Our electric cargo scooter is currently on hold. You can read more about the project here.