San Francisco-based startup Lit Motors set automotive subcultures ablaze when it revealed the C-1 concept in 2011. Claiming all the benefits of a motorcycle with all the convenience of a car—and none of the drawbacks of either—the self-balancing, enclosed two-wheeler swiftly attracted the attention of mainstream media such as the New York Times and Wired.

Those platforms bolstered Lit Motors to open pre-orders for the $24,000 C-1 in 2015. When the production model still didn’t surface after two years, though, the company closed bookings and reimbursed customers. Lit Motors CEO Danny Kim didn’t let that failed launch deter him from bringing his autonomous-balancing electric vehicle (AEV) to the market, however.

After a lengthy hiatus, the startup recently re-opened bookings for the C-1. This time around, the model carries a $32,000 price tag. To secure a pre-order unit, customers must fork over $250. That reservation fee also covers an AEV Queue t-shirt and certificate.

Similar to a crowdfunding campaign, Lit Motors will rely on the first 10,000 bookings to initiate the production process. The firm plans to produce the first 10,000 units by 2026 and the next 100,000 examples between 2027 and 2031. That may seem like a heavy lift for such a niche brand, especially when Lit goes light on the vehicle details.

Thus far, we know the C-1 employs a double gyroscope to optimize stability. Lit also outfits the AEV with a 13-kWh battery that yields 150-220 miles on a single charge. Depending on whether the user utilizes a 220V or 110V outlet, the model requires 4-8 hours to fully recharge. Lit may not disclose the specs of the C-1's mid-mounted motor, but it claims that the unit propels the two-wheeler to a five-second 0-60mph time and a top speed of over 100 mph.

Judging by the model webpage, we also anticipate the C-1 featuring drive-by-wire steering and side-curtain airbags. While Lit Motors struggled to return to this point, there’s a long road ahead before it finally gets the C-1 on the road.

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