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back to article Renault Twizy budget e-car

Some vehicles are more suited to certain geographical locales than others. Case in point: Renault's new two-seater electric runabout may not make much sense in central Manchester on a cold, dark, drizzly December evening. On the other hand, on a sunny afternoon on a Mediterranean island it could be right at home. Lucky, then, …

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FAIL

I wanted one, right upon til the moment I realised it doesnt have windows.

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Linux

There's a comment you'll not often see around here...

"I wanted one, right upon til the moment I realised it doesnt have windows."

There's a comment you'll not often see around here.

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MrT
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No windows...

... then some sort of mac would be needed. Dissenters can form an orderly lineux below...

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Linux

Re: There's a comment you'll not often see around here...

It probably runs embedded linux.

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Re: No windows...

Groan..

NEXT!

ttfn

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target market

I was in Paris last week. Loads of mopeds there, and parking for anything bigger than a mini is a nightmare! So I could see the target market for this, especially if you think of it more compared to 2 wheels, where braving the elements is nothing new.

One question though: how would it fair for tax and insurance, given it's got 4 wheels? Would the lease plan include those too?

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Re: tax and insurance

Good question. The pictures have it with a full French licence plate which means that, in France at least, it's a car not a scooter. Expect governments to adjust regulations to suit policy objectives and budgetary requirements!

Insurance might be close to scooters and subject to the usual postcode lottery. Alun should be fine as long as sticks to his usual surroundings and keeps out of Ordsall and the Moss! You can just see this kind of thing getting trashed by any estate yoof...

Nice to see it getting such a positive review for the handling.

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Nev
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It's not a car...

It's not classed as a car in France.

It's a four wheeled scooter. (That doesn't even need a licence to drive it on the roads in it's 5HP version.)

Might do well running on all that super-clean nuclear/hydro generated electricity.

Market success will depends on the cost of the all important battery leasing deal.

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Re: target market

Yeah, it's basically a 4-wheeled scooter providing a bit more added protection and luggage space while removing the need for a helmet. At just about twice the price of a scooter it's not too expensive either. Personally I'd prefer an actual scooter for getting around in heavy traffic and for the ability to park anywhere, including pavements at a pinch (technically illegal but it's usually overlooked if it's not too busy a pavement), but I can see the appeal of this to people not so comfortable with the exposure of being on 2 wheels.

Of course no use in the UK but perfect for the Med. Does look like lots of fun to head off to the beach with

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Re: target market

"the ability to park anywhere, including pavements at a pinch"

Where do you live? Round our way it is not uncommon to see cars parked on the pavement (all four wheels sometimes). Nobody ever seems to do anything about it.

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Re: target market

Impossible to charge in Paris, if your building does have a garage, and they are way out of my price range. The chances that you have electric sockets down there is next to nill. Public parking at 45 euros a night, sort of invalidates that Idea, so target market can't be Paris / London.

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I love the idea and it's getting close but still too expensive given that you can get a Toyota Aygo a year old for that price and £45 would more than cover the petrol costs for the distance you are planning in a Twizzy plus you have a car with windows.

Maybe its more attractive on HP but where it really seems to be lacking is that it has most of the disadvantages of scooters - no windows, low speed and in this case low range combined with missing one of their big benefits of lots of available parking.

Battery tech is a big problem here - at £6k without the extra battery charges and upping the range a little the equation would probably start to change a lot.

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It looks (and seems to perform) a bit like my mother's mobility scooter. She was bloody lethal on it, mowing people down in the supermarkets. I had planned to get a set of cow horns to stick on the front to encourage people to get out of her way. Had also thought about getting a leather jacket for her and put studs on the back saying "Born to Gran". 8-)

I like the idea, but think that it seems too expensive for what you get. Still, anything to start encouraging people to move away from reliance on current modes of transport.

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Facepalm

Or I could stick with my diesel

Seriously £45/month I don't pay that for diesel. So for around the same price I have 150 BHP, four seats, heating, air-con and all the usual extras even windows, oh and a 5 star ncap. Run this past me again, why would I want one?

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Re: Or I could stick with my diesel

Basically unless you live on the med and are looking for the eco-chic factor it's pointless.

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FAIL

Re: Or I could stick with my diesel

Exactly.

In London with the latest diesel prices I pay just under £70 for about 7 weeks commute, and mine's an older diesel in a relatively big car.

So my big car has only a little bit higher running costs (and cost me less to buy) than this quadbike - which nearly fits in the boot. (I think it's probably too tall, would have to cut the roof off and slip it in beside it.)

When comparing things of a similar size with newer engines do quite a bit better.

The baby Fiats, Toyotas and Citroens have similar 'up front' cost, are considerably cheaper to run, have windows, some of them aren't ugly*, and perhaps most importantly they can be charged in two minutes.

That said, this kind of golf cart runabout might suit a small Caribbean or Mediterranean island, or evil volanic lair.

* What is it with 'eco' models? Almost all of them look hideous, and there's no need for that.

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JDX
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Re: Or I could stick with my diesel

>>Run this past me again, why would I want one?

Because you're not buying it based on it being the most cost-effective option. At least not if you're the target market.

Because you look like a fool when you spend 30min looking for a parking space for your proper car, driving past hordes of these things.

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Re: Or I could stick with my diesel

> unless you live on the med

No way would I want to take my chances in a plastic go-kart around the boy racers in that part of the world! It would be safer to ctycle round the M25!

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Re: Or I could stick with my diesel

"Because you look like a fool when you spend 30min looking for a parking space for your proper car, driving past hordes of these things."

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Trollface

Re: Or I could stick with my diesel

"Because you look like a fool when you spend 30min looking for a parking space for your proper car, driving past hordes of these things."

1) You mean these things ran out of 'leccy and your desiel keeps going.

2) You mean these things fit in smaller spaces and you are struggling to find a big enough space

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Facepalm

Re: Or I could stick with my diesel

Maybe, but when they tax the buggery out of you because of the CO2 your car's pumping out, don't come running to me!

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Re: Or I could stick with my diesel

£160/year not that high really. Charging the electric car would probably cost getting on for that.

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Re: Or I could stick with my diesel

£20/year! :p

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But where do I charge it?

It looks like a good thing, if you have a garage or a drive to park it on. I have neither. Indeed, so days I can't park within 200m of my house. I live in a semi in a medium sized market town and this sort of vehicle would deal with 70% of the journeys I make.

But I can't charge it, and probably never will be able to. I'd like to be more enthusiastic, but it still seems like something for a small minority of people unless someone is prepared to spend a *lot* of money on infrastructure.

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Ru
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Unhappy

What is it about the brief, "Design an Electric Vehicle" that cripples all aesthetic sense?

Maybe its more the 'very small car' market than electric vehicle market specifically, but this is a starlingly f'ugly piece of kit. Are there no competent scifi-style artists out there anymore who can render something a little more sleek looking than this?

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Re: What is it about the brief, "Design an Electric Vehicle" that cripples all aesthetic sense?

I think that, in order to make it "sleeker" one would have to make it longer and wider - and therefore heavier - and so would lose it's nippiness, manoeuvrability and comparatively low price tag, as well as it's "almost-a-moped-but-better" credentials. That said, I have to agree, it's not pretty.

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Happy

Re: What is it about the brief, "Design an Electric Vehicle" that cripples all aesthetic sense?

Eco-cars don't have to be uniformly ugly, I suppose they have to produce something "eye-catching". And I don't see why it can't be side-by-side seating as the additional frontal-area is neither here nor there at the low speeds most citydwellers crawl about at. The only good news is it should be easy to rip the engine and transmission out and build it into a trike.

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Anonymous Coward

Marketing idea.

Offer a prize for the first guy who can get laid driving one of these.

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Re: Marketing idea.

Anyone getting laid while driving anything should have the prize of losing his/her licence...

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Happy

Re: Marketing idea.

Probably quite easy in the target climate and cities; see comments on eco-chic above.

In the chilly UK however, that prize will need to include a f*ing medal.

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Coat

Re: Marketing idea.

If you get laid in that, the prize would probably need to be a week with a physiotherapist afterwards...

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Re: Marketing idea.

I see what you did there...

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lease for £100?

Not any time soon with a £45 surcharge for battery. Perhaps a lease for £100 +£45 then you'd be better off with a Kia (no car tax either). Interesting to see what insurance group it will be as I guess it will be classed as a cabriolet. Just buy a motocycle and sidecar, at least they look better.

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FAIL

So, you wouldnt want to leave it where any 'ner do wells' could do mean things to it?

So.... That means in the city I need

A) Somewhere safe I can park regularly to charge it up

B) Somewhere safe I can park regularly where it wont get vandalised.

So (again) its a city car thats not secure to leave somewhere in the city.

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JDX
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Sounds like you should move to a nicer city then.

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where any 'ner do wells'

Yep it does look a bit like a urinal.

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I was right behind something vaguely like this at a level crossing.

The barriers went up. Long pause. Electric car inched onto the track at a speed that would have embarrassed a sloth. Half way across it paused... for about 45 seconds. I forbore from honking, on the theory that someone who's car has stopped half-way across a railway line probably has enough to think about. Finally it inched onwards.

Think I'll pass, personally.

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Anonymous Coward

Glorified Golf Cart

So, this is a glorified golf cart then? Seriously: when I visit family in Phoenix, you see this sort of use-case all over, filled by golf carts.

This may be a bit faster than a golf cart, but not much.

And sadly, the price isn't that far out of line with a new golf cart, either.

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Anonymous Coward

Doesn't look too bad for a city ride - but why no windows? Surely that wouldn't have added much to the weight and price of the thing (can't quite call it a car) - and open it up a larger demographic (pun not intended)?

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Good point - my guess would be it's part of what enables it to be classified as a scooter rather than a car.

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Headmaster

Calle has no diacritic in Spanish - check with your Iberian bureau - the accent naturally falls on the second syllable.

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JC_
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Pedant Fail :)

...when the word ends with a vowel, 'n' or 's' the stress falls on the penultimate syllable (barring an accent). calle

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Anonymous Coward

Just like a G-Whiz

It may ,look better than a G-Whiz (hard to imagion anything looking worse), but the lack of windows probabaly kept it under the weight limits for being classed as a quadricycle.

The main thing being that a "quadricycle" does not have to pass ANY road safety tests.

The main problem with these is that the owners "feel protected", but are in fact no better off than if they were on a scooter. Infact they could be more dangerous as they have just enough car like features to trap a person, without those same feature providing any significant protection.

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Chz
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Re: Just like a G-Whiz

Exactly what I came on to post. I'm sure they've made it a bit safer than a G-Whiz (Renault uses safety as a selling point, and they've managed to "break" the NCAP tests), but it's still unbelievably dangerous compared to even the cheapest Kia.

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Chimp from the front

Frankenstein's monster from the back.

I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Is there some EU law against making electric cars (or whatever this is) that look like cars?

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Terminator

Re: Chimp from the front

See and I immediately thought I was looking at a T1 Terminator (sans miniguns) when I saw the 1st photo.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh My God!

I saw this in the Dail Mail! On Saturday! Children as young as 16 will be driving these! There will be carnage everywhere! Swathes of youths! Everywhere! Think of the danger! To themselves! And others! They are not save! DO SOMETHING!!!!

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Devil

Re: Oh My God!

Not often you see someone freely admit to reading the Daily Mail.

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Alert

Safety

Renault's comments on this are that "Renault's rigorous safety standards were applied to Twizy to the letter, well beyond the requirements demanded by quadricylce legislation."

Personally I can't see Renault selling something that will fold like a wet cardboard box when thumped by a black cab at 20mph.

But even if it got a 5 star Euro NCAP rating you would still be toast if you got hit by a Range Rover doing 70mph just as you would be on a scooter or in a small hatchback.

Let me put it this way, I've ridden a scooter around central Rome but I'd have been a hell of a lot happier in a Twizy.

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And no windows

If green fanatic buys one and starts lecturing range rover owner, some "accident" may happen on purpose.

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