The Renault Twizy: the affordable electric car?

The Renault Twizy: an affordable vehicle?

Renault finally revealed the pricing for its small urban electric car. With it, it has introduced one of the most cheapest electric cars on the market.

One steering wheel and four wheels means that it is in fact a car. Yet, the Twizy also attacks the market for large 3 wheeler scooters with two key arguments: the ability to drive without needing a helmet, and very economical electric mobility.

Renault unveiled its pricing structure this week: the Twizy will be sold from 6990 € TTC, and will be eligible for national subsidees which will reduce the price further. However, there is a catch: you have to pay a monthly rent for the battery. This stands at 45 € /month for a maximum distance of 7500 kms/year, which could put off some potential buyers.

Despite the obligatory monthly rent for the battery, Renault has stated that the cost of driving a Twizy – including insurance, maintenance and energy – is less than 15% of the cost of a 3 wheeled scooter. This will of course be verified with time, but in any case, the Twizy still will be one of the most affordable electric vehicles on the market.

If some people are doubtful about the commercial success of the Renault Twizy, I myself believe that it’s a car which will be very popular in urban areas. While it doesn’t compare favorably with a 3 wheels scooter on all counts, especially in terms of the ability to overtake traffic between lanes, it has some real advantages: it can be driven without a helmet (no more helmet head), it is more stable and thus safer than a two-wheeler, and it can be parked much more easily than a standard car.

Renault has carried out some tests in Paris and found that it reduces drive time in the city by 25%, or by 7 minutes per 30 minute drive. I find it a little hard to understand how exactly the Twizy was able to save time in traffic as it can’t overtake other cars between lanes, but – ok – let’s accept the result.

Now it’s time to test the car and validate the numbers, and to see if it really works out to be such a great deal. I confess that it is high time for me to test the Twizy in real life situations.

Note: a small precision which was made about the Twizy during the Geneva Car Show – the driver can’t be too big or too tall, as the car may make you feel a little cramped.

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