electro-bikes will not
outrun the Zeta, vows inventor
THE INDEPENDENT, 17
By NIGEL COPE
There was potentially bad news for Sir Clive Sinclair
yesterday when Honda and Yamaha announced plans for
cheaper ranges of their electric bicycles. Sir Clive, you
may remember, invented one of the earliest electrically
powered bikes when he launched the Zeta in 1994. This is
a power unit that, when attached to the back wheel of a
bike, turns it into a mini-moped. Puffed-out cyclists
flick a switch to get battery-powered assistance when
Honda will launch a Racoon series of electro-bikes in
Japan in February at prices starting at ¥79,500 (£421).
Yamaha is also getting in on the act with a lower-priced
range in January.
Sir Clive remains unfazed, however. 'I'm not in the
slightest bit worried. Their products will probably be
much more expensive than ours - too expensive for the
volume market, I suspect. But they will give credibility
to the marketplace.'
Sir Clive says he has sold 15,000 Zetas so far, priced
at a Honda-whipping £145.
So pleased is he with sales that he hopes to increase
the marketing spend next year. Hopefully things will go
more smoothly than at one press test at the time of the
launch. Then, a pre-production Zeta surprised its rider
when it shot backwards and crashed into a bus shelter.