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New episode of Fully Charged featuring the intriguing Renault Twizy.
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Oliver Bock-Brown's profile photoThomas Richardson's profile photoMartin Hintzmann's profile photoMarkus Birth (mbirth)'s profile photo
23 comments
 
Just Booked myself into Renault Croydon with a look to buying one of them . Any hat tip you can offer would be helpful
 
I wonder if anyone has thought of racing them yet. Do they roll well?
 
Looks fun. Being a quadricycle, I wonder if that means you can drive it more places than you could a normal car. Into shops, perhaps? :)
 
If it's a quadricycle, could you drive it with just a bike licence?
 
It looks great, but I wonder what it would be like in wind and rain :-)

Is there any boot space to put at least a small amount of shopping in it, because it looks like a great runabout for a quick trip to the shops
 
So if you drive this thing every day to its full 60 miles:
£1.37/day battery lease
£1.01/day in electricity (at a high 16.5p/kWh, this could be halved)
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£867/year for nearly 22k miles

A good new diesel leanly driven will cost £2500 for the same distance covered in fuel alone. (£1.50 at the pump, 60mpg). If you can do without a boot, doors, 2 seats, range and motorways, it's an absolute win for commuting. I can't imagine road tax, insurance and maintenance will pan out equally either, but I can't estimate those.

The sums don't look quite as good if you do half the distance (11k miles per year). Then you're sacrificing tonnes of utility for £600/year. Half it again to very low usage and that battery lease price undoes all of Renault's work. It's not cost effective as just a shopping trolley.

B+, still more battery and motor innovation required so that electric cars can become a no-brainer whatever the circumstance.
 
Interesting little car, I can see these electric cars used in holiday resorts or big complexes, but sadly not as a replacement for the family car. But I guess it is a step in the right direction though. One question, why do you have to rent the batteries?
 
No offense meant, but I get the impression that if you were 21 today chances are you'd be kinda pennyless and / or student-debt-ridden and worrying about securing a job, not about how to spend ~6000 quid. Of course, YMMV...

Re: Twizy - I agree it does look like fun, but as you noted it's a bit too open for most moderate climates; also, while I agree my car carries exactly one person to work and back, me and my friends do tend to use our cars at least as much to get together than to go to work, and let me tell you for that purpose they're always too small even as they are. As a really short commute / errand-running vehicle it could actually work, assuming one would have the luxury of other vehicle(s) being available too for more demanding tasks. Just as long as they seal that darn cockpit.

Edit: I still like the Carver trike more though. Perhaps someone should make an electric one... ;)
 
I'd love one of these, its the range that worries me with a lack of charging options
 
I'll park this next to my Tesla Roadster... After I win the lottery and can easily afford both ;-)
 
Awh! Not the Twizy!
Have you already secured a test on the ZOE?
The ZOE is a practical everyday car (it allows you to bring some cargo and to be protected from the weather), the Twizy is just a 4 wheel motorcycle.
 
Crash test.
Renault Twizy ZE - Crash Test
It bounces off like a matchbox toy :D
It'd probably be better if more of it crumpled to absorb the impact rather than pass it on to the passengers, but there isn't that much up front to crumple up.
 
> Ian Heald - because batteries are expensive. For a "normal" car the cost £10,000-£20,000. So for the ZOE (smallish 4 door car renault are releasing in the autumn) by renting the batteries it gets the list price down to the same as a deisel.

But the way it stacks up is you rent based upon your mileage (so 12000p.a. works out at around £100p.a). However this includes breakdown cover for any reason. They replace the batteries once the capacity drops to 75% of the original capacity (yes that old issue).

In the medium term there's likely to be battery stations so instead of charging you roll up to a station and have them swapped in a couple of minutes. Yes renualt have designed their cars to be able to do this.
 
Love the series, but I do hate the blurred corners of the video. OCD?
 
I wish car makers would stop making electric cars that look like they're designed for aesthetically pleasing midgets and just design normal cars. It's one of the many things I like about Tesla - their cars look like normal cars that you can enjoy driving, rather than novelty toys put through an enlarging machine set to "not quite large enough".
 
Where do my kids sit? lol
I'm still waiting for someone to produce a reasonably priced, electric 7 seater. :(
John E
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The Twizy looks utterly, utterly shit. It even has a shit name. It could only really be french.

This is a shit-looking tiny car for people that don't want the "convenience" of having a window to stop the rain getting on your face when it rains, or being able to take anything larger than an iPad in the car. Even the ill-fated G-Wizz that came out 8 years ago is more useful than this pile of scrap.

I'd rather walk.
 
I'm not to sure about Renault's pricing and battery rental model. On the Twizy battery rental costs approximately £40 per month, on larger vehicles like the ZOE it is more like £65. In both cases this you are essentially trading a high initial purchase cost for a lower initial cost and an ongoing cost.

One advantage of battery rental is that if there is any battery fault then it is their problem, not yours - that is unless they decide to discontinue the battery rental program, then it is very much your problem!

As I calculate it (with napkin maths), it works out as roughly equivalent in terms of overall cost if you keep the vehicle for 10 years, except that with the battery rental model, you don't own the battery. That fact may make it difficult when selling on a Renault EV as this could put off potential buyers.

As for the Twizy, it looks ugly, impractical, but fun. Though the lack of weatherproofing means that the likelihood of seeing one on Welsh roads is practically 0%.
 
+John E Saw one up close at a show. I was genuinely looking for a commuting option. It had flappy doors on it that didn't even seal properly. really flimsy build, no good for British roads at all. Small step up from a golf cart...
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