Renault Twizy – XCAR

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A quadricycle is not a car. It’s still got four wheels, in some cases a roof and can be propelled down the road under its own steam. But it is not a car. The Renault Twizy is a quadricycle, a really good one, and I love it. But I wonder whether society will give it a fair chance.

Y’see, the little Twizy is an incredibly clever idea. It’s cheap to buy (starting from £6,690 in the UK) and you needn’t worry about batteries driving the price up because you lease them from Renault — keeping the cost of the car down. It’s small, so it’s easy to park. It’s light so, even though there aren’t many batteries, you can go up to 60 miles on a single 3 ½ hour charge. There’s even room for two people inside (just). Ok, its optional scissor doors may look cool but its lack of windows (now an aftermarket option in the UK, FYI) may make winter driving something of a challenge.

So why don’t I think it’ll work? Simple: It’s designed for urban living.

The Twizy itself is a blast to drive. It steers well and its 17bhp motor is very responsive. Also, its 50mph top speed feels rather quick thanks to its lack of windows.

Renault wants the Twizy to take over large urban population centres, to become a nice, easy alternative to the car. It’s narrow, so you can fit two abreast on busy city roads, which means you can double to number of people using the roads. Ideal for a city like London, then. Except it isn’t.

Big cities, like London, are full of flats and unless you’re a millionaire you’ll be living in one. A small one at that. Those in houses can install a charge point in their garage/front garden/have a plug sticking through the letterbox and leave their Twizy on the drive to charge. The young funky types in flats don’t have this luxury. That is, unless they have a REALLY LONG extension cable and a sadistic desire to trip up their neighbours.

The government has already stated that there won’t be a charge point on every corner, too, so flat-dwelling Twizyists will have to wait in line to charge their motors. The worst-case scenario here is lots of Twizy owners waiting in a big, funkily shaped line.

This could change, though. Further proliferation of electric cars could mean a change in attitude all over the country. Landlords will install charge points in every parking bay, more public charge points will appear and public car parks will make it easier for ‘leccy motors to charge while their drivers shop.

Renault has got a brilliant product in the Twizy — it’s small, easy to drive, cheap to buy, good looking (in a futuristic way) and fun. I love it dearly because its low power thrills are really unique compared to other electric vehicles. I dearly hope it takes off, because I’d love to see a street lined with charging, sleeping Twizys and their owners discussing how much fun they are. Here’s hoping…

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12 thoughts on “Renault Twizy – XCAR

  1. Chunlei Sun says:

    is this motorcycle or car ?

  2. water power

  3. erm, water powered cars! oh yeah, you will mysteriously die if you drive one

  4. Can you not like strap 5 extra batteries to the roof?

  5. Carfection says:

    I wouldn't say that was the point – more that we've been told that there won't be an abundance of charge points and at the moment there aren't enough to sustain the number of EVs the govt, etc are hoping there will be.

    Similarly – the Twizy is meant for urban living, which means people in flats will own them. A great idea in theory, but in practice a block 'o flats won't have a charge point for every car…

    It's a great car and EVs can work for many, but the Twizy might not for its audience.

  6. Jenny X says:

    As usual there´s no logic here, you demand that there should be charging points for 1000.000 ev´s before anyone can buy one…
    Instead one should point out something like; if you have a place to charge it it´s a fun car…
    There´s so many that say, if it can´t go forever and charge in 2 minutes NOBODY can benifit from an EV, instead of looking at all the millions of people that actually CAN benifit from an EV with 150-500km´s of range and can charge at night..

  7. Carfection says:

    I don't think it'd have an image problem – they get great reactions wherever they go thanks to the martian-esque design. If anything's holding it back it's the practicality of charging and space…

  8. Steve - S says:

    fair play, looks fun and innovative. But also the market that renault have aimed it at is not so good either is it?…I mean young guys would definitely not drive that, maybe woman. But guys will go for a cheaper faster option, but fair play to renault for trying.

  9. Carfection says:

    The lack of windows (now an option, FYI) could be a bit of a pain in the winter, mind. Still, love the car. So much fun!

  10. Steve - S says:

    Those doors are perfect for busy city life. Seeing as conventional doors will dent other cars.

  11. 1:23 That face lol

  12. Scrustle says:

    Also there's the fact that electric cars aren't as clean as they seem. Firstly you need to remember where that electrical energy is coming from; power plants. Most electrical energy still comes from burning fossil fuels, and having an electric car just moves the problem, it doesn't solve it. It's also very environmentally unfriendly to make. The chemicals in the battery are very hard to get, need to be flown around the world to be processed, and create a lot of toxic waste.

    Plus it looks ugly.

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