TWIZY WHIZZY BUT SALES MIGHT NOT BE BUSY…
FINALLY DROVE A RENAULT Twizy this month and it was as good as I’d hoped. The tandem electric two-seater was quick enough for urban streets, preposterously manoeuvrable thanks to being no wider than some full-size touring motorbikes and, best of all, fun to drive. Renault prepared a slalom test to be taken flat out at 50mph and I was surprised by its agility and stability. It is remarkably good fun. For that thank all major masses (bafferies and electric motor) being within the wheelbase and under the driver.
But it will still struggle to sell, and here’s why. There are many peripheral reasons why it might put you off: its quite pricey at around £7000 the real-world price of some proper cars. Its not properly weatherproof, compromising its big potential advantage over a motorcycle. And if Renault markets it as an alternative to the car, it risks being labelled comparatively unsafe because, being in law a quadricycle, its not undergone the stringent crash tests to which normal cars are subjected. But say none of this deters you. Where are you going to charge
it? A Twizy is not like a Nissan Leaf, which will go 80-100 miles on a charge and will be bought by people in the commuter belt with off-street parking. A Twizy is an inner-city device that, in theory, will serve best those living in busy terraced streets. Even if you can park outside your house, are you going to trail a cable across the pavement and be sued by the bloke who trips over it and breaks his leg? With no charging infrastructure to speak of, the Twizy will remain a niche product enjoyed by the rich with off-street parking or the few able to charge the car at work. To the thousands of others who might otherwise benefit from its charm and ability, it sadly makes no sense at all.