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The IRIS Etrike Puts the Electric Tricycle in a Sculptural Shell

Sir Clive Sinclair’s C5 Electric Vehicle From 80’s
The nephew of Sir Clive Sinclair–the man responsible for the ‘C5′ electric vehicle from the 1980’s–has created an upgraded version of the miniature EV called the ‘IRIS’ strike. this one-person hybrid electric / pedal-powered tricycle features an elegant Plexiglas canopy so it can be used in all conditions. the sculptural vehicle aims to build on the successes and failures of the original ‘C5′.


Sir Clive Sinclair's ‘C5′ one-person electric vehicle was first introduced to the public in January 1985, gathering a lot of attention. it was a tricycle in a durable plastic case with a maximum speed of 10 -15 mph (16 – 24 km/h). back then it used a 0.34 bhp electric motor run by a 12v lead-acid battery, giving the driver a break from pedaling. despite much attention, only a few thousand little C5’s were actually sold for a whole host of reasons: the vehicle’s batteries didn’t offer much range, it was completely exposed to all conditions, they had a reputation for being notoriously tricky to operate, and even its first motors were so poor that they were rumored to come from a vacuum cleaner. ultimately, production ceased after only eight months, and in 1985 Sinclair vehicles were no more.


Fast -forward 32 years and Sir clive’s nephew Grant Sinclair, has created a new version of the ‘C5′ electric car with his company, Grant Sinclair design. the ‘IRIS’ strike certainly looks different from its predecessor. the body is larger and is enclosed in a hinged plastic-canopy made of aviation grade acrylic. this allows riders to continue to use the vehicle in wet conditions, plus acts as protection against thieves lurking around bike trails. the ‘IRIS’ mostly takes an electric-hybrid tricycle with a Chromoly steel trike chassis and puts it inside a monocoque quantum foam EPP body. the rider sits in a more upright and higher position to provide more visibility, safety, and comfort, also creating a greater sense of security. the iris weighs 55 kg (121 lb) in total including its battery and charger.


The ‘IRIS’ etrike’s elegant form was influenced by aerodynamic helmets used in velodrome bike racing, and skiing. it’s streamlined lines, 48 V lithium-ion battery, and low weight gives the gives it a maximum speed of 30 mph (48 km/h).  the ‘IRIS’ can be pedaled through its eight-speed gears, or the rider can switch to ‘electric’ mode and let the 750 watt mid-drive motor do the work. its interior architecture features an upright bucket seat molded into the body to keep the rider cool, with built-in air vents featuring charcoal air-filters. other refinements include a backlit LCD displaying speed, distance, power mode, and battery charge, plus a universal smartphone dock for listening to music or linking to the etrike’s built-in rear view camera. there’s also a lockable rear compartment that can carry up to 50 liters. and since it is intended to be used on the road, it also features LED headlamps, turns indicators, and brake lights.






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