10 Jan: Sinclair’s Electric Dream

The Sinclair C5, Sir Clive Sinclair’s disastrous entry into the EV market, launched at Alexandra Palace on 10th January, 1985. 

Looking like a cross between a mobility scooter and a child’s pedal car, it had no on-board storage, was too heavy to climb uphill, and a top speed of 15km per hour. But Sinclair had contracted Hoover to produce the vehicle, expecting orders of 200,000 units per year.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly revisit the original publicity material for this doomed design classic; rank the public embarrassment of the car’s failure against Sinclair’s other high-profile flops; and reveal the contents of the optional ‘wet weather kit’ drivers could enjoy…

Further Reading:

• ‘A Revolution in Personal Transport’ – the original press kit from the launch (1985): www.sinclairql.net/downloads/1985-01-10_Sinclair_C5_launch_press_kit-SQPP.pdf

• ‘Sinclair C5: the history of Sir Clive Sinclair’s electric car’ (Auto Express, 2021): https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/356059/sinclair-c5-history-sir-clive-sinclairs-electric-car

• ‘Imagine a Vehicle that can drive you five miles for a penny’ – original Sinclair C5 TV advert (1985): 

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eevblog/

Tags: | | | |