Lit Motors has been having difficulties finding the funds to bring its self-balancing electric motorcycle, the C-1, to market. CEO Daniel Kim said earlier this year that the company would need about $20 million to bring the vehicle to market and to satisfy the over 1,000 people who reserved what the company calls an ‘auto-balancing electric vehicle’ (AEV).
Now reports are coming out today claiming that the company recently became an acquisition target for important companies, including Apple, BMW, Audi, and a South Korean automaker.
The New York Times first reported on Apple’s interest in acquiring Lit Motors this morning, and later Bloomberg chimed in – citing unnamed sources saying that several more companies are pursuing a deal with the startup.
The core technology behind the AEV consists of two control momentum gyroscopes (CMG), which use gyroscopic torque to keep the two-wheeled vehicle in an upright position at a complete stop, automatically lean into turns and even counterweight in the instance of a collision.
It’s basically a self-balancing electric motorcycle with an enclosed body, which gives much better aerodynamic performance than a motorcycle while being safer.
Earlier this year, the company received 9 new patents covering a range of applications from the vehicle’s gyroscopic stabilized system to its intuitive drive-by-wire steering system, which could have sparked these acquisition talks.
If a deal goes through, whether it’d be from Apple or one of the automakers, they would actually be acquiring the company partly from some well-known investors and tech entrepreneurs, including Google/Alphabet’s Larry Page, Joe Gebbia, co-founder at Airbnb, and Mark Pincus, founder and CEO at Zynga.
The technology powering Lit Motors’ AEV has been more difficult to bring to market than anticipated and the company is far behind on promises made to early reservation holders.
The company is now on its fourth generation C-1 prototype.
Here’s the vehicle’s gyroscopic stabilized system at work:
Hopefully, some of these reported acquisition talks lead to more financing for the project and we get to see a new innovative electric vehicle hit the market.
Lit Motors aims for a range of 100 to 200 miles on a single charge and a starting price of $24,000 USD before EV incentives.
Earlier this year, we reported on a Chinese copycat trying to beat Lit to market,