What is the slowest electric car?

sinclair c5 with sir clive sinclair

The Sinclair c5: The slowest electric cars are those which have the smallest motors.

There is no particular type, but let’s look into why they are slow.

Sometimes there is a need for the simplest electric vehicle. To make a small electric vehicle a few things have to be taken into account. The physical size of the vehicle determines the battery size which can be accommodated and the motor will be selected by the manufacturer as the best one to propel that little vehicle. Conversely, if a low power slow car is required, then its size must be restricted.

Several manufacturers have made small electric cars in the past which earned the title of slowest. Sir Clive Sinclair made a small three-wheeled machine in the 1980s – The Sinclair C5 – which was so small that there was no possibility of a reasonable-sized battery for a reasonable-sized motor. The top speed of the Sinclair C5 was 15 mph which is too slow for modern traffic but by restricting his speed etc. he was able to give the machine a range of 20 miles.

sinclair c5 with london cab

Sir Clive’s C5 had an electric motor of only 250 Watts which was built into the front wheel with the 12-volt battery under the floor.

The little vehicle suffered from bad reviews over safety concerns (it was so small it could go unseen in traffic with disastrous consequences) and lack of any kind of weather equipment.

Out of 14,000 built, only 5,000 were sold and Sinclair went into receivership.

There have been many others over the years, but of necessity, no manufacturer builds a slow electric car for road use. It would be a menace to other road users.

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