Lit Motors’ AEV is a self-balancing, fully-enclosed electric motorcycle

Lit Motors Self-balancing Electric Motorcycle
Lit Motors AEV: A self-balancing electric motorcycle with gyroscopic technology, achieving a 170-mile range and five-minute charging. Images courtesy Lit Motors

In a world increasingly focused on sustainable and efficient transportation solutions, Lit Motors introduces its latest innovation: the Auto-Balance Electric Vehicle (AEV), a self-balancing, fully-enclosed electric motorcycle. This cutting-edge vehicle merges the excitement and agility of a motorcycle with the protective features of a car, aiming to transform urban mobility.

Founded in 2010 by Daniel Kim, an alumnus of Reed College, UC Berkeley, the Rhode Island School of Design, and MIT, Lit Motors faced a hiatus following Kim’s motorcycle accident. Reinvigorated, the company returns with a skilled team comprising engineers from tech giants such as Raytheon, Honeywell, and Audi. Their mission: to challenge conventional vehicle design and promote a shift towards more efficient urban transport systems.

Redefining road presence

The AEV is designed for the modern urbanite. Statistics show that 75% of cars typically have only one occupant, prompting the question of why so much space and metal is necessary for daily commutes. The AEV addresses this inefficiency with its compact, aerodynamic design, capable of reaching speeds over 100 mph and narrow enough to navigate between lanes easily—characteristics that reduce both traffic congestion and environmental impact.

Crowdfunding success

To fund this ambitious project, Lit Motors has turned to crowdfunding via WeFunder, allowing the public to invest directly in the company’s future. This approach has already garnered significant support, with over $1.1 million raised, highlighting the market’s interest and confidence in the potential of the AEV.

Lit Motors Self-balancing Electric Motorcycle Specs
The Lit Motors AEV reaches speeds over 100 mph, offers a range of 170 miles, and charges in just five minutes.

Advanced design and functionality

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

Quick charging and range

Efficiency is paramount in EV design, and the AEV excels with its rapid charging capability—achieving a full charge in just five minutes using a Tesla Supercharger, or six hours with a standard 110V outlet. Each charge offers an impressive range of approximately 170 miles, with an estimated cost of only $1.25 per charge, making it an economically attractive option for daily commuters.

Lit Motors Self-balancing Electric Motorcycle Parking
Four AEVs can fit into a single standard car parking space, maximizing urban parking efficiency.

Uncompromised safety

Safety in two-wheeled vehicles often lags behind that of cars, but the AEV aims to bridge this gap. Lit Motors mentioned that the AEV features front and side airbags, and they will be developing the vehicle to meet European NCAP homologation standards, as they are safer and more comprehensive than US car safety standards. The fully-enclosed design ensures that riders are protected from the elements, making the AEV suitable for all weather conditions.

Environmental and operational efficiency

The construction of the AEV focuses on minimizing environmental impact. It uses one-tenth the parts and one-sixth the lithium of standard EVs, significantly reducing both the ecological footprint and the production costs. Lit Motors aims to scale production to one million units per year, ambitiously seeking to reach this target in half the time it took industry leader Tesla.

Lit Motors Self-balancing Electric Motorcycle Prototype
Displayed here is a prototype with the sheet metal removed, illustrating the struts extended for parking stability.

The operational weight of the AEV is just under 1,000 lbs, making it a quarter of the weight and 80% more efficient than a full-sized EV. Such efficiency can cut commute times by up to 30%, according to the company’s claims.

 

Practicality and aesthetics

In terms of design, the AEV does not just perform well—it also looks the part. The vehicle features scissor doors that lift upwards, saving space and reducing the risk of damage in tight spots. For parking, the AEV is as manageable as a standard motorcycle and can fit four units in a single car parking space. When parked, the AEV deploys struts to remain upright, conserving battery power otherwise used to maintain the gyroscopes.

Not the first, but among the best

While not the pioneer of gyro-stabilized two-wheelers—a title held by the 1967 Gyro-X—the AEV stands out for its modern implementation and electric power source. Additionally, Lit Motors is expanding its portfolio with the development of a self-balancing electric cargo scooter, further showcasing the versatility and potential of their technology in various market segments.

1967 Gyro-X First Gyro-stabilized Two Wheeler
The 1967 Gyro-X was the first gyro-stabilized two wheeler.

Pricing and availability

Lit Motors is currently taking preorders for the self-balancing motorcycle, and you’ll be put in the queue 6-12 months before production starts. The reservation fee is $250, which includes a branded T-shirt featuring the Lit Motors logo and the purchaser’s unique serial number. The starting price for the AEV is set at $32,000, positioning it as a premium but accessible option in the evolving market of electric vehicles.

Lit Motors Kubo Self-balancing Cargo Scooter
Lit Motors is developing Kubo, a self-balancing cargo scooter designed to streamline urban deliveries.

Conclusion

With its innovative design, impressive efficiency, and strong focus on safety, Lit Motors’ AEV represents a significant step forward in the quest for more sustainable and practical urban transportation solutions. As it moves from concept to production, the AEV may well inspire a new direction for the future of personal mobility.

Source: Lit Motors