Twizy Way: Renault’s solution to car-sharing

Twizy Way

With its small and compact size, the Twizy seems to be made for car-sharing. Renault is very aware of this, and is developing a car-sharing concept that is has called Twizy Way.

From the 21st of June this year, Renault will dedicate 50 Twizys for 200 selected users in the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines urban area in France. Users can locate the cars nearest to them using the web or an iPhone application, reserve them from 15 minutes later, and use them for as long as they wish.

One of the strong (or weak) points of this system is that users can also park the Twizy in any public parking spot in this test area. Other users can then reserve the cars on the spot using their phones to scan a QR code that is printed on each vehicle.

The 50 Renault Twizys will be distributed in a test zone of about 27 km2. The manufacturer will take care of all the additional support services (servicing, re-charging). In fact, this is one of the things that is not very clear from Renault’s press release: are there specific zones where the cars can be re-charged, and if so, where are they?

In any case, this initiative will be in test mode until the end of September, and then will be available to the wider public. It will be interesting to see if the Twizys are evenly distributed throughout the area or if Renault needs to “intervene” so that all the users find a vehicle that isn’t too far from them.

I’m convinced that the Twizy is a perfect candidate for a car-sharing scheme. I wonder if it will be difficult to manage the wear and tear on this type of windowless vehicle… even if it is not very different from a scooter, in the end.

* A QR code is a 2 dimensional bar code that is printed on a label, which can be read by a Smartphone that has a camera. Reading the code opens up a dedicated link in the phone’s web browser.

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