The C5, rather unfairly, is probably the
product for which Clive Sinclair is best known.
It was Sinclair's first electric vehicle and was
promoted as a revolutionary advance in personal
transport. In an ideal world, maybe it would have
been. Unfortunately, it looked like a large
plastic slipper, it was powered by a washing
machine motor, it was slow (only 15mph), heavy
and short-ranged, and many potential customers
were put off by the perceived risk of being
squashed by lorries.
a few months, production of the C5 was halted
following derisory sales. The huge financial
losses - up to £7 million - incurred by Sinclair
soon forced him to sell his name and the rights
to his computers to Amstrad. Yet, ironically, C5s
are now collector's items and now sell for up to
£900 (more than twice the shop price in 1985).
One British stuntman has even turbocharged a C5
to 70mph (!) and races it through tunnels of
Sinclair himself still remains very keen on
electric vehicles. See the pages on the Zike (electric bike) and Zeta (electric bicycle