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Clive Sinclair's electric X1 vehicle rides out

Sir Clive Sinclair is back in the electric vehicle business. Sinclair Research has announced the X1, an electrically assisted recumbent bicycle with a carbon fibre and acrylic bubble shell.
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Written by Rupert Goodwins on

Sir Clive Sinclair is back in the electric vehicle business. Sinclair Research has announced the X1, an electrically assisted recumbent bicycle with a carbon fibre and acrylic bubble shell.

Details are sketchy, but the company web site says that it costs a penny per mile to ride — provided you pedal — and comes with a 190 watt electric motor powered by a 24 volt lithium polymer battery pack. The whole ensemble weighs 30 kilos, comes in at 209x140x69 cm, and will cost from £595 with delivery expected in July 2011.

There are, of course, some engaging details. The adjustable handlebars are covered in suede, and the reclining seat is made of nylon, while front and rear disc brakes are advertised as having "100 percent stopping power". There's no obvious way to lock the thing, as the bubble canopy is open on both sides, but so far the only images available are what looks like a CGI three-quarters photograph and one wobbly video of a prototype weaving its way through the London streets.

Clive Sinclair's first electric vehicle was the infamous C5 tricycle, launched in 1985. It too was a recumbent design, but was criticised for unreliability, low range and a dangerous lack of visibility. In 2001, Sinclair Research designed a successful underwater electric propeller vehicle for scuba divers, sold as the Sea-doo Seascooter.

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