When charged with a brief of sourcing an electric car, the Renault Twizy would not necessarily appear at the front of the queue. However, as a mode of transport for the city which is never likely to be occupied by more than one person, the Twizy actually makes a lot of sense.
The first thing you notice is how small it is. Only a little longer than most cars are wide you will be surprised to learn this is in fact a 2-seater. This is achieved through an in-line setup where the passenger sits behind the driver, sort of straddling them. Parking therefore is a cinch. With a wheel in each corner (so no overhang) any kind of parking is as easy as pie. Cant find a space long enough? No problem just park at right angle to the kerb and you are sorted.
With the all electric Twizy, Renault took a minimalistic approach to its design and specification. Whilst BMW were slated for offering a stereo as a cost option in the early days, at least they provided doors as standard. Not so with the Twizy¦ Want doors? That’s and extra £545 please. So what does the Twizy come with as standard? Well, not a lot. You get a heated windscreen, a 3m charging cable, 13³ Alloy Wheels, and a lockable glovebox. Thats it for just shy of £7,000. You dont even get a battery, which you have to rent for at least £45/month. Even if you did want some options, you can have some doors, rubber mats, an clear sky roof, Parrot Bluetooth Hands Free, and change some colours here and there, thats your lot.
OK, so you dont really get much with the Twizzy, but what you do get is a zero emissions vehicle, that wont cost you on road tax, and wont cost you to drive around London (if you can get it to London on its maximum 62 mile range, although 30-40 is more realistic). The Twizy has a lot by way of green credentials, but it also aims to save you money. If you live and work in London it does make sense as you can dispense with public transport and congestion charging fees plus it will take you to exactly where you want to be. Need to move documents around in London, the Cargo variant will have its appeal to (with the plus of branding opportunities too).
Outside of London where the cost saving are less obvious, taking into account the minimum £45/month battery hire, cost of charging and 250 miles/month usage limit (yes that is less than 10 miles per day) it is a little less economically viable, actually factoring this all in it is rather expensive when you can have a real car with doors and everything for roughly the same price.
Right with the practical and boring stuff out of the way, here is the fun bit. What is it like to drive? The answer in short is immense fun. It is nippy, with its whining little 17hp motor able to get you 30mph in 6 seconds and up to a dizzying 50mph, which feels like much more when you are that close to the ground with no doors and as such is plenty quick enough.
Zooming around in the Twizy is fun and you will certainly get attention which makes it a good option for a pool car which you
can brand up. It looks futuristic and you know you are not pumping noxious gasses into the atmosphere, but after a while the electric whine can get a little tiresome and with no interior entertainment you may find yourself going a little mad (perhaps all the marketing images you see of people driving these things with a big smile is more of a grimace).
As a futuristic concept car the Twizy hits the mark nicely, and if you are solely in need of a city runabout in London which you can brand up, and/or you are heavily into doing your bit for the environment, it makes sense. Otherwise the Twizy is little more than a marketing stunt and not really suitable as a business vehicle but it is fun and does catch the eye, so it may be worth the premium for that.
If you would like to find out more about the Renault Twizy, contact JCS Fleet on 01223 911 761 or complete our online enquiry form below.