Send this page to a friend!
Fill in the form bellow
I got rather excited about the Renault Twizy when its vital statistics came out. All of a sudden there seemed to be an electric car that stood up as a commuter’s proposition at a relatively sensible price.
Yesterday I had my first ‘proper’ look round the diminutive Twizy. I opened the door, sat in it, pushed the buttons on the dashboard and generally just had a play. Unfortunately, like many electric cars I came away with a slight sense of disappointment.
The Twizy looks quite ‘cool’ in all of the press pictures and it has a range of 130 miles which can almost be described as acceptable for its use as an urban vehicle. The price is also pretty good, with the range-topping Technic only costing £7,400 in the UK, for which you get alloy wheels, metallic paint and a carbon fibre effect roof on top of the standard driver airbag and disc brakes all round.
Renault can be commended for including the Twizy in its 4+ plan which includes servicing and a four year warranty, as standard. The numbers stack up even better when you bear in mind that it only costs £1 to charge the Twizy. All of a sudden the daily commute, sitting in urban traffic will not be quite as frustrating.
However, it is not long before the numbers start to fall down and doubts about the viability of the Twizy start to kick in. The Twizy is powered by batteries, of course, and these need to be rented from Renault at the princely sum of £49 a month for 6000 miles per annum. This means that cost rockets to nearly ten pence per mile and that is pretty close to the cost of a ‘normal’ economical supermini.
When you also realize the fact that the Twizy only comes with two seats, and that even if you plump for the optional doors which cost £455 you still don’t get any windows meaning a jacket is obligatory. I also would not fancy driving the Twizy though a town centre late on a Friday night, with the chance of a stray kebab coming through the aperture always being a possibility.
The Twizy also feels pretty flimsy, the doors are not structural so maybe that can be forgiven, and the weight is a mere 474kg so it feels nippy. However, it tops out at 50mph and I wouldn’t feel comfortable having an accident at even a relatively low speed.
The Twizy’s lack of usability is further determined by the fact that it lacks a radio and air-conditioning, although the latter can probably excused by virtue of the lack of windows.
I retain a soft spot for the Twizy, but it still does not compare to the practicality of a normal car. It is not particularly cheap to run and the inconvenience of having to charge the batteries remains an issue in Europe.
By virtue of the Twizy’s status as a quadricycle it does not qualify for the government’s £5000 electric car subsidy. If it did I might be looking at the Twizy in a different light. As it is the Twizy remains a car that I like and something that might be fun in certain circumstances but unfortunately those circumstances are few and far between.