By on September 30, 2010

Take a look at the above picture and have a think about what’s wrong with it? Answer after the jump.

There is nothing wrong with it. It’s not a concept car. It’s Renault’s new production version of its new 2 seater electric car, called a Tizzy Twizy. It’s available for pre-order at Renault’s Electric Car website in the UK, with deliveries starting in 2012. According to the stats, the Twizy will have 20bhp from its electric motor which will produce 57Nm of torque. It’ll also have a range of 60miles and its top speed will be 47mph. Quite clearly, this is a city car. Question is, could you see this taking off in the United States? Or in other words: Would the Twizy fit?

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31 Comments on “What’s Wrong With That Picture: Renault Throws A Twizy In Paris Edition...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    If those ‘doors’ are actually what they appear to be (a two foot wide strip of material in the center, nothing above and below), this vehicle is obviously meant only to be used in the same kind of conditions that the usual (as opposed to dedicated) rider would commute on a motorcycle: Warm and dry.  And it’s being sold in England.  Which means it’s to be used about four months out of the year?
     
    It would add that much weight to completely protect the occupant from the elements?

    • 0 avatar
      cmoibenlepro

      There is glass below the metal strip on the door.  You could see it in the bigger picture on the website.

    • 0 avatar

      Looking at the site (linked in the article) the bigger images show those doors have translucent lower panels, but not (as far as I can see) windows. For light urban use that’d be fine in most parts of the UK (including England)
       
      Obviously can’t speak for all types of drivers or all parts of the island as we have a real range of people and weather here, but I don’t see the doors being a deal breaker for the target audience, which is going to be 99% London commuters looking to dodge the congestion charge.

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      There is material below so it should be rain proof. I also see you are a very positive person as England isn’t 4 months warm and dry.
      It is more a quad with a roof than a car and there is also a version which is limited to 45km/h which means you don’t need a drivers license.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    This is a vehicle to drive to the train station and nothing more.  No serious weather protection; no luggage capacity.  Unless it receives some sort of special parking privileges (cheaper or closer to the station) I don’t see it stealing much of the market from scooters.  Further, given that it’s a  niche-specific city commuter  vehicle, many people in its target market are  without dedicated parking spaces at their apartments/homes. This makes recharging pure electric vehicles problematic.

    I predict total sales of a few thousand over 3 years before Renault pulls the plug on production.

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      In Europe you have a class of car like vehicles for which you don’t need a drivers license. Their maximum speed is only 45km/h and the market isn’t big but it is much larger than a few thousand. I think this will be a success, especially if cities that those kind of vehicles need to be zero emission.

    • 0 avatar

      @charly
       
      This isn’t entirely accurate. I think you’re describing a “Voiture sans pemit” and those are governed by local EU member state laws. Some countries (France and Spain for example) allow people to drive this sub-class of vehicle on public roads with no license, others (the UK certainly) do not.
       
      In England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland the Twizy will need to be registered, taxed and insured for use on the public roads and the driver will have to hold a drivers license covering sub-category B1. Afaik all “full” UK licenses and motorcycle licenses issued before 2000 cover this class, since 2000 holders of a motorcycle license have had to apply specially for the extra entitlement.
       
      Without a genuine microcar market here in the UK the market for the Twizy will pretty much be London congestion charge dodgers in the South East. Period.
       
      On the continent, you’re right that it’ll also find a niche alongside the likes of Axiam and Ligier in the “Voiture sans pemit” markets where applicable, but since Renault have never been interested in that market before I suspect the upsurge in demand for this kind of vehicle in specific urban areas (London, Paris etc.) is their primary focus.

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      In the Netherlands you need a scooter driver license(which includes B1) but that requires only a written test and can be got when you’re 16 so it isn’t exactly hard.

    • 0 avatar

      The easiest way to qualify would be to have a full license already ;)
       
      The Dutch system sounds similar to the requirements for a provisional license here in the UK which can be applied for by anyone over the age of 16, requires a short session of “Compulsory Basic Training” and then allows the holder to ride a moped with a smaller than 50cc engine (up to the giddy heights of 125cc for over 17s) on public roads when displaying an “L” plate. That won’t cover these electric scooter thingums.
       
      If for some reason you were averse to taking a car test you could take the full bike test but both are strict here (getting stricter in October) both require you to have passed the written test too, and you have to be over 17 either way. Even then once you’d passed the Motorcycle test you’d have to apply for Cat.B1 entitlement as it isn’t automatic any more.
       
      There really isn’t an equivalent to the “Voiture sans permit” system here in the UK: eaxctly as it should be imo – we have to cope with enough bad drivers as it is with (theoretically) only the licensed ones on the roads!

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      Here the ICE version of the “Voiture sans pemit” is limited to 50cc

  • avatar
    beeb375

    Firstly, ‘Take a look at the above picture and have a think about what’s wrong with it’ isn’t a question, it’s an instruction. Massive pet peeve.
     
    Second, what kind of crash test data exists for this thing? I can see them whizzing around the congestion charge zone in London, but not battling with HGVs on a short interurban commute, would be bloody terrifying.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “Open the pod bay door, HAL”!

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    Has a windshield wiper, but no side windows.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    As an electric version of a covered scooter—which are fairly common in Europe—this isn’t a bad idea.  Price?
     
    In the US?  No, not a chance.

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      Those two-seater, no driver license, 45km/h cars are expensive, at least compared to regular cars so the electric version wont be cheap either.
      In the US you can drive a regular car when you’re 16 and getting a driver license isn’t exactly hard so its two main advantages don’t exist in the US

  • avatar

    the answer to the latter question is obvious.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Having just seen how popular scooters (and the three-wheel variants) are her in Paris, I see how the Twizy and other concepts similar to it will make sense for a certain segment here and in other European cities. It’s a step up from a scooter, period.
    The US? No way, except maybe some day, in a few cities like SF, Portland and Seattle.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Paul, I see an increasing number of small electric vehicles in Corvallis, there have to be some running around Eugene these days.  Not saying they’re  common, but for an around-town second car they make sense for some families…assuming the price is right.  That said, I doubt we’ll see Renault bring these to the states any time soon.  Maybe if they had a dealer network in place already.

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      they have a dealer network, it operates under the name of Nissan

  • avatar

    It reminds me of the scooters one sees in retirement communities.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    Is the footprint larger than that of a golf cart, and if so why?
    The Corbin Sparrow never took off and it seemed a much better idea than this.  Who needs a four-wheeled Seqway with a roof?

  • avatar
    charly

    Smaller. length:2,320 mm, Width:1,191 mm

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Outside of Aspen, Colorado I don’t see most Amerians caring about this sort of vehicle, the overall reaction would be ‘if I wanted a golfcart I would buy one.”

  • avatar
    sco

    What’s wrong with it? First, there’s no place to put my clubs on the back and second there’s no range finder.  There are better golf carts on the marker.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    “…what’s wrong with it?”
     
    It hasn’t got a Hayabusa engine in it yet.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    without dedicated parking spaces at their apartments/homes. This makes recharging pure electric vehicles problematic.

    Thats is a very very big issue for any EV! EV does not function like benzenes one can carry a jerry can and be moving in 2 mins.
    The power cord to your EV is not exactly a small lamp cord, more like an expensive Hifi speaker cable namely Monster cable, need to carry approx 40amperes, or u vait till the cows come home then u can be moving again.
    What are the peak demand time now? 4-7pm  as everybody gets home, cook, washer, dryer , TV, fridge. If the new EVs come on after supper time, ve can count on peak demand may even goes higher than 4-7 pm and goes on till wee hours in the morning.  God help the places using Coal fire gents.
    Wonder how well do EV do when park for some time?
    We deal with batteries all our life time, we all know they will discharge by itself, whether intentionally or unintentionally,  or as simple as someone left the small light on.
    Then when there is enuf EV users, will the critical mass make hydro rates go sky high?
    We all say plug in during night time there and will be OK.
    At one time we drive at night we get less traffic, is not true now.

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    I see a lot of this vehicles in retirement community near you. Lot’s of folks are using this to get their mails, going to club house & attending bingo night.

  • avatar
    Garak

    Driving that thing in a crosswind, over a speedbump or just rapidly around a corner must be really something. 1.19 meters wide, 1.46 tall, and weighing only 420 kg, that thing’s going to fall on its side even in city traffic.

  • avatar
    charly

    My guess is that the battery isn’t build into the roof but the bottom plate of the vehicle so stability is no problem, especially if it has no windows.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    “…what’s wrong with it?”

    It hasn’t got a Hayabusa engine in it yet.

    ya u wanna her to pop a wheelie and stand on the end of 2 rear wheels.

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