Monday, 16 April 2012 8:37 AM
There’s no denying that the new Renault Twizy electric vehicle looks funky and, based on a reasonable initial sticker price - about the same as the smallest petrol city car - a range of around 60 miles and a top speed of around 50 mph, Twizy on paper sounds like a viable around town nipper. “Around” is used quite liberally by Renault when quoting range and top speed, but I think we all know by now that electric cars are a little more unpredictable in their energy consumption than what we’re used to fossil fuel-wise.
Available to test drive now in 22 specialised Renault “Z.E. Expert” dealerships, the £6,690, 2-seater Twizy is built for urbanites and features nippy diemensions of 2.34 metres in length, is 1.24 metres wide; designed for the driver and a passenger to sit in tandem. A full charge, using a standard 3-pin plug, takes three and a half hours and costs around £1 (depending on energy supplier and tariff) and gives the little Frenchie that range of around 60 miles. So, basic running costs are about £1 per 60 miles.
Twizy’s power comes from a 17bhp motor with a limited top speed of around 50mph and the car’s bodywork has been designed tall and distinctive by Renault to keep other road users aware of this silent street-surfer, and, should the worst happen, the occupants are protected by a deformable body structure and a wheel at each corner that protrude slightly.
More usual safety features include a driver’s airbag, a 3-point seatbelt with additional strap for the driver, and a three-point safety belt at the rear. Since Twizy's passengers are strapped in and enclosed, they are not required to wear a safety helmet. There are disc brakes all round.
Again, more of what we're used to in the shape of additional options for the Twizy that include scissor doors (£545), driver and passenger blanket (£110) and a 50-litre leisure bag (£95) which sits on the rear seat and clips into the chassis keeping your shopping where you left it. Further Twizy sprucing can be had with metallic paint (£195) and alloy wheels (£340).
The new Twizy range starts at £6,690 OTR for the Urban model - through Colour and then Technic - with a monthly battery lease cost of £45 including VAT for a 36 month/4,500 miles per year agreement.
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