A new electric vehicle combines the versatility of a scooter with the fun of a motorcycle and the safety features of a car.
It’s called the Nimbus One and it could be an easier way to get around and park on crowded city streets.
The minimalist vehicle has a footprint more like a motorcycle, but with two wheels in the front and one in the back.
“Cars are very inefficient and they’re big and expensive, hard to find parking, cause congestion as well,” said Lihang Nong, founder of Nimbus.
The thing that makes these tiny EV’s work? They self-balance.
Nong told me that was the most difficult part of building this vehicle.
I test drove one in a parking lot in Los Angeles and could feel the software working its magic to keep the car steady and balanced, even through tight turns.
The unit was still a prototype, so things were still being worked out. For instance, I heard a knocking sound when accelerating and at one point the door came open while I was driving.
Still, these temporary quirks didn’t detract from an impressive start.
The Nimbus One can go up to 50 miles an hour, which means it’s just for city street driving. You won’t be taking this model on a freeway, although there are plans to introduce a freeway rated model at some point down the line.
The Nimbus One gets just under 100 miles on a charge. There are four removeable batteries, which you can easily take out and bring inside with you to charge. Alternatively, you can use the built-in plug (it pulls out like a vacuum cleaner plug) or a standard EV car charger to juice it up. You get a lot of options.
Other features that contribute to a comfortable ride include heat and optional A/C, a small backseat, luggage rack and LEDs that can display messages on the front and back of the car.
“Unlike a bike or motorcycle which takes years of experience to be able to ride very well we make it so anybody can get into the vehicle and drive it right away so that was challenging to do,” said Nong.
The Nimbus One will cost just under $10,000 to purchase or about $200 a month to rent. The company expects to make its first deliveries next year.