Full Throttle

When Jamar Bromley MFA 15 GD returned to San Francisco for his second summer internship at Lit Motors, he set out to create a “sexy and elegant” graphics package that would do justice to the incredibly cool new vehicle the start-up is planning to release later this year. The curvy, compact electric two-wheeler is the brainchild of company founder and CEO Danny Kim 09 ID, who has spent more than five years developing it to provide the maneuverability and fuel efficiency of a motorcycle and the stability and comfort of a sedan.

This Week in Startups
Episode 458: Lit Motors’ C-1: a new class of vehicle part car, motorcycle, & spacecraft

What happens when you build a vehicle that is part car, part motorcycle, and part spacecraft? You get convenience, safety, and 100% cool. Introducing the C-1, an electric two-wheeler that is all-weather, entirely enclosed, and totally untippable. This week Jason talks with Lit Motors Founder & CEO Daniel Kim about his incredible invention, what it’s like to create a new class of vehicle — and what he’s got waiting in the wings.

Harvard Business School
Lit Motors: De-risking the Venture

In mid-2012 Lit Motors had created both engineering and design prototypes and conducted initial customer tests on less than $750,000 of investment. Lit Motors’ founder, Daniel Kim, had started the company to design and manufacture an efficient electric 2-wheeled vehicle. The company had refined the designs for the key technologies required and had a working prototype, an understanding of the manufacturing processes to be used and a list of the components required. They also had a design prototype that they had used to conduct customer tests and establish reactions to pricing levels. At this point, management was aiming to raise $15M to get closer to manufacturing prototypes, but had they sufficiently proved out both the manufacturing feasibility and the market demand? How could they address the next hurdles in terms of partnership building, supply chain management and go-to-market strategy?

San Francisco Chronicle
Product Design & Development
Electronic Times
김정주 NXC 회장, 한국인이 설립한 신개념 전기차 기업에 100만달러 투자

김정주 NXC 회장이 한국계가 창업한 신개념 전기자동차 스타트업 릿모터스(Lit Motors)에 투자했다고 포브스가 보도했다.

포브스에 따르면 김 회장은 징가 창업자 마크 핀커스, 조 본 창업자 이브 메하 등과 함께 릿모터스에 100만달러를 투자했다. 김 회장은 지난해 11월 소프트뱅크벤처스가 주최한 포럼에 참석해 미국 소규모 벤처를 발굴하고 있다고 밝혔다. 이번 투자는 그 일환으로 풀이된다…

Green Car Reports
Lit Motors C-1 All-Electric Two-Wheeler Update: Still In Development [Video]

Human beings are curious beasts. Tell them something outlandish, even something backed by scientific method, and they’ll try and prove it wrong anyway.

Non-stick pans? Let’s see what I can burn onto it! Unbreakable pen? Yeah, sure.

How about a motorcycle that won’t fall over? Actually, we’ve seen this one before. Lit Motors’ C-1 really can’t be pushed over, at least without considerable force…

Danny Kim Wants to Change How You Drive

…Like Elon Musk and other manufacturing savants, Kim is someone who enjoys the challenge of building things—whether it’s eyeglasses, chairs, or motor vehicles from scratch. He’s spent the past five years re-thinking modern transportation, and using those insights to design prototypes of two-wheeled, motor-driven vehicles that can self-balance with a dancer’s grace, thanks to an integrated software platform and a patented gyroscopic system…

Lit Motors C-1

We visit electric vehicle start-up Lit Motors to check the hottest EV on two wheels. The C1 from Lit Motors is a two wheeled electric vehicle that merges radical engineering with breath-taking design. Design was foremost in the mind of Founder, Daniel Kim: “Design is really important because of perceived value, but having something you can fall in love with is really important to me, and it’s been a while since I’ve fallen in love with a car. I wanted to rekindle that.”

Bloomberg Television
Lit Motors C-1 and kubo First Look

Meet Lit’s C-1. It looks like a huge kidney bean on wheels, and you’ve probably seen similar prototype or limited-production vehicles on the Interwebs and various automotive and science publications for years, maybe decades (if you’re old). But the C-1 is different. Not only is it a zero-emissions plug-in electric its inventors claim is capable of over 100 mph and a 200-mile range, it’s also a self-balancing, computer-controlled robotic vehicle that combines technologies in a way never seen before.

News 1 Korea
하버드가 주목한 韓청년…1인용 전기차로 세계 흔든다

1년간 배낭여행을 했다. 28개 나라, 106개 도시를 돌아다녔다. 결론은 ‘나만의 자동차를 만들자’였다. ‘많은 사람들이 혼자 차를 타는데 왜 그리 큰 차가 필요한가. 안전하면서 효율적인 1인용 차를 만들자.’ 그렇게 회사를 만들었다. 언론이 주목했고 하버드비즈니스스쿨이 주목했다. 75만달러를 투자받아 현재 생산을 목전에 두고 있다. 세계 최대 가전쇼 ‘CES 2014′에서 화제를 몰고온 리트모터스 창업자 대니얼 킴(35)이 그 주인공이다.

대니얼 킴은 한국인이다. 어렸을 때 부모를 따라 미국으로 건너갔다. 포틀랜드에서 자랐고 리드대학교를 중퇴했다. 대학교를 왜 중퇴했느냐고 묻자 “스티브 잡스를 따라했다”고 쿨하게 답했다.

The Huffington Post
Watch: 30-Year-Old Entrepreneur Crafts Future Car — It’s Electric, Has 2 Wheels and Can’t Fall

…Kim says the experience nearly killed him, but he took those nearly 10,000 hours (what Malcolm Gladwell describes in Outliers as necessary for success in any field) and launched his own car company. Well, “car” is perhaps overstating it, given that all of Kim’s designs have only two wheels. He has patents on a couple of electric cargo scooters- one even folds up (he takes one for a ride into a bar in our video).

Lit Motors launches crowdfunding campaign for its kubo electric cargo scooter

San Francisco-based Lit Motors is definitely best-known for its C1 – a self-balancing, fully-enclosed electric motorcycle, that’s still in development. The company has also been quietly working on another vehicle, however, known as the kubo. It’s an electric cargo scooter, in which the payload is carried inside the frame. It’s ready to go into production, so its makers have turned to Kickstarter for funding.

Discovery Channel
Fast Company
A Motorcyle-Car Hybrid Wants to Be Urban Transit’s Next Big Thing

In the effort to revolutionize modern transportation, there are those who put their eggs in the low-tech basket, advocating for ways to make cities more friendly to biking and walking. And then there are the visionaries dreaming up the next big idea in transit, like Google with its self-driving cars. Now a Bay-area based electric vehicle designer called Lit is joining the second camp with a new motorcycle-car hybrid it’s calling a “rolling smartphone.”

Patent Granted for Lit Motors C-1 Gimbaled Flywheel Stabilization System

There are a number of transportation devices under development deserving of the adjective, “revolutionary.” There are also no shortage of vehicles bestowed with the “vaporware” descriptor. High on both of those lists rests the C-1 from Lit Motors – a self-balancing fully-enclosed electric motorcycle, with a steering wheel in place of handlebars. For both doubters and believers, however, there is no denying that this project is moving forward.

And The Winner of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012 Is… YourMechanic (and Lit Motors)

After nearly three days and plenty of pitches, our list of 30 hungry startups was trimmed down until there were only seven startups left standing: Expect Labs, Gyft, Lit Motors, Prior Knowledge, Saya, YourMechanic, and Zumper. Their task? To take the stage one last time in front of our amazing panel of expert judges — Mike Arrington, Roelof Botha, Chris Dixon, Eric Eldon, David Lee, Marissa Mayer, and David Sacks — to undergo even more intense scrutiny.

New York Times
Bloomberg Businessweek
Danny Kim’s Motorbike Won’t Wipe Out

Daniel Kim decided to reinvent the motorcycle eight years ago, soon after a car nearly crushed him. He was welding a Land Rover sport-utility vehicle, laying on a mechanic’s sled under its 500-pound chassis, when the chassis fell off its frame stands. Kim stuck his arm up as the chassis fell, and on contact the force pushed him and the rolling sled out from beneath the car. The near-death experience gave Kim his fill of big machines, he says: “I thought, does the world need another SUV? No.” A lifelong bike aficionado, he set out to create one as safe as a car.

The LIT C1 bets the future of driving on a gyro-balanced two-wheeler

In a nondescript building on the grittier side of downtown San Francisco, the future of personal transportation is being born — at least according to this baby’s Dr. Frankenstein, an affable 33-year-old named Daniel Kim. Sitting in the glare of a few spotlights is the LIT Motors C1, an enclosed two-wheeler that combines the flexibility and fuel efficiency of an electric motorcycle with the safety, comfort and storage space of a small automobile.

Lit Motors And Its Convention-Defying Motorcycle

On paper, Lit’s proposition is enticing. Kim expects the electric motorcycle, which can carry up to two people, to hit speeds of up to 120 miles per hour with a battery range of about 200 miles per charge. Its sleek design will allow for easier parking in urban areas as well as lane-splitting or navigating traffic. And most importantly, an enclosed cockpit and in-house concocted gyroscopes will provide some safety assurance and stability to a form of transportation glorified for its uninhibited and dangerous nature.

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