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Last updated
26 Feb 1998

Sinclair launches Zeta

THE GUARDIAN, 25 January 1995


Current project . . . Sir Clive Sinclair yesterday launched his latest manufacturing base but took a back seat to 19-year-old Kylie Forrest in demonstrating what it will produce.

Trilec's factoy at Blantyre, near Glasgow, will make 2,000 units a month of the Zeta (Zero Emission Transport Accessory), which aims to electrify pedal-powered transport.

The shoebox-size Zeta contains a rechargable battery and motor, and when attached to the back wheel of a bicycle can propel it at up to 14mph for eight to 10 miles on one charge. It is priced at 144.95 and more than 3,500 have already been sold in Britain and 1,500 overseas.

Trilec employs 23 people and hopes to double the workforce in the next 12 months. A Zeta-equipped bicycle can be transformed from pedal power to electric power at the flick of a switch, and can be used in all weathers.

The Zeta is launched 10 years after Sir Clive's ill-fated C5 electrically-powered vehicle, which was in production for only a few months, but the inventor is optimistic about his new power plant. ''We know it won't go the way of that, because we have shown it's very successful.''

Future projects for Sir Clive include a computer chip, being developed in the US, which is said to be much more efficient in its use of silicon, and an ultra-lightweight pedal cycle whose design and materials innovations will mean a total weight of less than 10lbs.