back to article Renault readies sub-£7000 e-car for Blighty

Renault is pledging to put an e-car on Britain's roads for as little as £6690. That total will undoubtedly have been calculated with the government's £5000 e-car purchase grant. Even so, it's still well below the five-figure price tag other e-cars, from the likes of Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Nissan, have been set at. There's a …


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  1. Matt Siddall

    e-car grant?

    I thought that the e-car grant was equal to a quarter of the retail price of the car, up to a maximum of £5k. In this case, you'd only get £1,672.50. Still means you get the car for just over 5k, instead of twice that from any other supplier, mind.

    I'd think they'd be better off retailing it at 7.5k and giving three years battery rental free. The cost is the same overall, but people would be able to get nearly an extra £400 off the govt from the grant to put towards it.

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    Oo looky!

    The Sinclair C5 is all growed up now.

  3. Jonathan White


    £40 a month and you're only allowed to do 1500 miles a year (that's an average of 3 miles a journey if you're commuting to work and no leisure use at all) before you get charged even more? Are they taking the piss? Even with petrol at the ludicrous price it is today, in a relatively thirsty car, I could do roughly 3,000 miles a year on a £40 a month petrol bill. If I drove a small car that looks considerably less ludicrous (like say a Fiesta or such) and I could probably double that at least. And I'd get four seats and a boot. This thing hasn't even got doors. THIS IS THE UK, NOT CALIFORNIA.

    If you only live 3 miles from your work, get a fecking bicycle.

  4. Valerion

    No doors?

    Good thing it never rains here.

  5. yoinkster
    Thumb Down

    No way,

    There's no way that thing's a two seater?! I cannot see how a 2nd person is going to fit behind the driver's seat in that first picture.

    Still, I won't be buyrenting one, I already own my own vehicle and just the cost of changing would outweigh any savings. Plus I couldn't give a rats but that's another matter entirely.

  6. Highheels
    Thumb Up

    I like it

    This would be ideal for the commute to work, providing it could be charged at work. But getting that service from work could be very tricky. I do have worries about the ncap rating though...

  7. David Pollard

    Grid backup of wind power won't work yet

    The battery rental is £160 for 4,800 miles, which is about 80 full journeys of 60 miles: £2.00 each or 3.3 pence per mile (plus the cost of charging, of course). The capacity is 6 kWh, suggesting a power consumption when driven for maximum range of about 10 miles / kWh.

    The rental cost of storage capacity is a minimum of about 33 pence per kWh. No one is likely to connect this to the grid to provide backup without reimbursement. It would make for very expensive electricity. The idea of balancing out the gaps in wind power generation from battery cars connected to the grid is still a very long way off.

    It's interesting to note, though, that the CO2 running cost of the Twizy in France, where they produce mainly low-carbon nuclear energy, is 12 g / km, whereas on an average 'European' electricity mix the cost is 62 g / km.

  8. Rikkeh

    Here's a question, reg cloud

    Is there a reason why no one's thought to do the batteries for e-cars like barbeque gas cylinders- i.e. you pay a big deposit the first time you buy one to "hire" the cylinder and then bring it back when empty and pay to exchange it for a full one?

    This would seem to solve the long charge time and degrading problems (the main reason it seems why people aren't keen on electric cars) at a stroke.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What the FUCK is that?

    Is it impossible to make electric cars that look cool or something? Also, it looks like it would be a death trap in an accident.

  10. Conrad Longmore

    Be prepared

    If you buy one of these, be prepared to be laughed at by owners of Smart ForTwos.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      RE: Wut?

      Yep, this thing is useless. Maybe a toy for the super rich to get around their large estates. A bit like a golf caddy.

    2. Synonymous Howard

      As a smart car owner of 8 years...

      I really like the design ... the range is reasonable but the mileage limitation on the battery rental seems harsh.

    3. Number6

      My first thought too...

      It's a C5 with a lid.

    4. xj25vm


      Here is an answer for you: the gas cylinders contain the same quantity of gas every time they are refilled. Batteries don't work like that. As they are charged and discharged, they store less and less electricity. You might be getting a newer battery which contains, say, 40KW of electricity, or you might be getting a worn-out one, which only stores 20KW. How would you like to pay for your gas cylinder, but to not know for sure how much gas you are getting? Or how much you can use it before it is empty?

      1. handle


        kWh - kilowatt-hours - not "KW" by which you mean kW which is a measure of power, not energy.

        I'm sure they could find a reasonably secure way of telling you how much energy is available from the battery (a display on it, for instance) and charge you accordingly. But it would still be a lottery as to how much juice the thing contains and therefore how far you'd get with it.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      2 seater

      I think the second person had their legs astride the seat in front. So no pencil skirts allowed!

    6. Anonymous Coward

      It's 4500 miles *per year*

      The article was worded badly. From the Twizy website:

      "The monthly subscription is €45 inclusive of taxes for an annual distance travelled of 7,500km, a figure which covers the vast majority of ordinary motorists' requirements."

      So it's 12 miles per day if you use it every day of the year, or 17 miles p.d. if you only use it for your weekday commute. Still not perfect, but not too bad for its intended use.

    7. Anonymous Coward

      Reminds me of....

    8. Chimp

      Your old mother

      There are schemes like that in the PRC for electric moped batteries. Not sure of the costs... Will ask, someday.

      One thing that struck me about the little electric car... Never park it near a pub, or you'll have ten pints and a pizza on the front seat before long.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A somewhat contracted

      version but the point is still valid:

      "If you buy one of these, be prepared to be laughed at"


  11. Tony Barnes

    £40/m ??

    Isn't that going to be more than most inner city dwellers would spend on fuel anyway?

    Interesting idea, honestly, I don't think its a good end result, but an interesting idea.

  12. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Erm... no!

    Seeing as the most common complaint you hear about Renaults are the dodgy electrics, the idea of buying an electric car from Renault doesn't appeal. Maybe if they badged it as a Nissan. And had Nissan engineers redesign it to remove the inevitable electrical gremlins. And had Nissan build it. In fact, just remove the Renault influence, fullstop. Then give it side-by-side seating and at least rain-proof doors, and sorted out the in-built Renault ugliness - it looks like one of those electric trolleys old dears cause hazards in, only with a roof! In fact, just forget it and start from scratch, please.

    /Badgers, 'cos it's a roadsign, innit, and I suspect badgers could build a more appealling electric car.

  13. Jon Double Nice

    How many AA batteries would you need to run it?

    I can get them for free from the stationary cupboard.

    But seriously? Enjoyable open aired motoring? In Britain? In a city?

  14. GettinSadda

    No £5000 e-car grant

    There is a 25% e-car grant that is capped at £5000, but this EV would not be expensive enough to hit the cap, so would not get a £5000 grant.

  15. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    And if you thought I was bitchy.....

    A colleague has commented that the only way they could sell it in London was if they put an Apple logo on it.....

  16. lglethal Silver badge

    My god...

    Could they make it any more ugly???

  17. The Alpha Klutz


    Everything about this car is both visually and mentally repulsive, and for such a high price, a complete fail.

    I'd hate to think of the massive, massive, damage you would be doing to the environment by purchasing and driving this thing. Gotta be a few million tons of carbon just to build it, then 5 years later when everyone realizes it's shit, it'll be another couple of million to recycle it. Or just dump it in a hole in the ground, that would be the cleanest option, and trust me, there's plenty of space on earth for landfill. We found space to test the nukes. Hundreds of them.

    So in summary, if you buy this, you really are almost, but not quite, as reprehensible as Renault for building it in the first place.

    Now we just wait for the BBC News press release about how awesome it is. Because obviously, if it's electric, it must be good. Unlike Oil, we have unlimited electricity.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    £40/month for 125 miles/month?

    That's 32p per mile - or more than double what a Fiesta costs in petrol.

    Let's hope the surcharge for going over 125 miles/month isn't so high.

  19. randomHandle


    So that's seven grand for a quad bike without doors and battery. I can buy a second-hand Golf for that and still have change for petrol.

    Besides, where exactly are these flat-dwelling urbanites going to park the doorless wonder?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    4500 miles

    4500 miles over 3 years?

    I know someone with a motorway commute who bought a new car 3 years ago.

    It recently went in for it's 90k service.

    Also, the usual bugbears of an 8 hour fillup, running a high voltage cable out the window and down the street to where you parked the thing, and the fact that all you are doing is abstracting the fossil fuel combustion away from your metal cage to a large building down the road.

    It would make more sense if 100% of electricity was from nukes. But because the "green" lobby saw a devastating tragic earthquake and tsunami on the other side of the planet, and are worried it could happen off the coast of Cumbria, we are stuck with mostly gas generation.

    (Sure we have renewables, but they are mostly too tempremental to be reliable on a 24/7 basis.)

    If only those who had prophesised in the science / nuclear boom of the 50s and 60s that by 2000 we would have unmetered electricity were true.

    It may be OK for central London, where the streets are paved with electrical charge points, and the average commute is down the road, but for those of us who live outside of the M25 it still isn't practical.

    And because it has no doors, no doubt ruin it's chances on the market just like the BMW (haaacckk-phut) C1 by legislating that everyone should wear a helmet despite it's roof, or the Smart where the USP of parking nose-on to the kerb was not allowed on UK roads?

    Hydrogen is the future. Electricity and hybrids are a distraction, just as catalytic converters were in the 80s/90s (and are now seen as an expensive to replace, power sapping pain by the de-catting modifiers).

    A/C for the flames. (Oh, the humanity!)

  21. Richard Willetts

    Thats the price, grant doesn't apply!

    The e-car grant doesn't apply to the Twizy, the large quadracycle category isn't elligible for it I don't think, so the Twizy list price is what Renault are selling it for.

    Even with the battery rental I think it's well worth it for any money and/or environment conscious urbanites.

  22. Pete 2 Silver badge

    But what about the insurance?

    It's all very well targeting the vehicle at "young city dwellers " (does that really mean gullible/inexperienced sorts, who are desperate for a cheap set o' wheels?) but if the insurance is going to add a few £k per year on top AND the extra spondulicks for the battery, then it's not looking all that cheap.

    Plus, hasn't anyone in Renault heard of car crime (or rain, for that matter). Without any doors, they may as well put a STEAL ME sign on the back, so far as city life/parking is concerned. Though maybe it's lack of desirabiity is its main defence.

    Clive Sinclair would be proud.

  23. Mark #255

    I could cycle further than that...

    Is that 4500 miles _per year_, or over the three year period?

    I used to cycle over 1500 miles a year at Uni (and that was only 30 weeks of the year).

    Even at 4500 miles/year, the customer must live <10 miles from work, be far from viable public transport, have space at home to keep this single-purpose vehicle (no big shop on the way home, and absolutely no extracurricular trips).

    Oh, and how's the winter-time range (heater full-on for the specially lengthened 2-hour, 10-mile snow-bound crawl to work)?

    I'll pass, thanks.

  24. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Fugly beast

    I can already see these things tipped on their backs or placed carefully in skips by slightly inebriated peolpe on a Friday evening.

    But battery extra is taking the pee

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I could cycle further than that...

      "Oh, and how's the winter-time range (heater full-on"

      There's no doors. We don' need no steekin' heater.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Except Nissans are now all crap because Renault has made them adopt their working practices and use their engines and parts.

      The fresh air wouldn't bother me but I'd need to be able to do at least 7500 miles a year without penalty. My return commute is 32miles each day. If it could so that at 60mph for £7k I could actually use it.

      But it'd need to work at at -6C and survive -20C since that's what I've had for the last two winters. Even in the garage it's been -13C.

      Then again I could just get a bike.

      1. The BigYin


        Buy bike armour. Well insulated, waterproof and you'll need it when some BMW/Volve driving ass-hat smashes into you. Cost to be fully suited and booted in something half-decent £500-£1,000.

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Except

        "Except Nissans are now all crap because Renault has made them adopt their working practices and use their engines and parts....." Damn, I hope not! I've driven some cracking Nissans, including a chipped Sylvia Turbo (scorchio!) and a hilariously wolf-in-sheep's Bluebird (had the 3-litre engine and bits from a Supra, but no outward signs of any upgrade). My old man's only non-British sportscar was an original 240z. Be a real shame if Nissan go the way of Renault, I was hoping that the influence would be the other way.

        Anyhoooo, I don't think Renault will get many takers with the £40pm rental, they really need to look at standardising the batteries with other car makers so as to spread the costs and get the prices down.

    3. TheOtherHobbbes

      Oh yes.

      It could be pink.

      1. Synonymous Howard

        I'd buy pink

        it would replace my current bright green smart fortwo ... but a pink smart is also lovely.

    4. The Alpha Klutz

      "But seriously? Enjoyable open aired motoring? In Britain? In a city?"

      I think what they mean is you're not going to get side-swiped by a Grizzly Bear, so having no doors is perfectly fine. Unless you want to pay extra for doors, in which case you can have them, you sick pervert. You could be hiding all sorts of bombs in a car with doors. Better put your name on some kind of list just in case.

    5. Conrad Longmore


      But most people will charge their vehicles overnight when a lot of renewable resources are still producing electricity that no-one wants. In effect, the electric car becomes a storage mechanism for power... and if people buy enough it might help to find a use for all those wind farms at 3am.

    6. Anonymous Coward

      They wont get stolen

      Who the F*ck would want to steal that? A Tesla Roadster, yeah, maybe but that pile of steaming Sh1te, come on.......

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Who'd want ti steal it?

        Well, it's got £1500's worth of battery in it - though you'd want a proper car to haul it away.

    7. Charles Manning

      It's not even an e-car

      It's an e-quad-bike. Only one small step up from an e-scooter. Will it get any grant at all?

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Batteries not included

    Caution some parts may need assembly. Contains small parts not suitable for children under the age of five.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There ..

      I've corrected it for you.

      "not suitable for children over the age of five."

  26. DrXym Silver badge

    £7K for a buggy is expensive

    I'm sorry, but a doorless car is just an invitation for tramps & drunks to use it as a doss house and public toilet. No doors might be okay for people renting / hiring them to day trippers but they'd better have somewhere to lock them up.

    It does look nicer than a G-Wiz car (which looks like it was styled by Trabant), but at least the latter has doors, electric heaters and some other mod cons for around the same price total.

    The price of both this and the G-Wiz are way too expensive though. Granted the batteries may cost £3k or so, but where the hell is the remainder going?

    1. xj25vm


      "It does look nicer than a G-Wiz car (which looks like it was styled by Trabant), "

      Easy now! Trabant was a lovely car for it's time and place. I have many great memories of trips in my friends family Trabant. And they were dead practical as well. Pretty much rust proof body, and bomb proof engine. Fill up the tank with part gas condensate/natural gasoline straight from the gas extraction rigs (the 7L/month allowance of proper petrol won't take you very far) and part triple distilled plum alcohol - and there you have right there a wonderful, government defying, communist holiday : -)

  27. SImon Hobson Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    They want HOW MUCH for the battery rental ?

    You're allowed just 125 miles/month - 4500miles over 3 years is 1500 miles/yr, or just 125 miles/month. Leaving aside the minor detail that it would only allow me to commute to work 6 times a month, £40 over 125 miles is 32 pence/mile - without even costing in the electricity used for charging.

    Even my gas guzzling 20 year old 4x4 costs less to run than that, at only 27ppm for fuel. I'd not save any of the standing costs for my 4x4 either as I'd still need it for journeys with more that two people and/or more than a small laptop bag and/or more than the commute to work in distance. Something smaller and less thirsty would improve on those running costs somewhat, making this Twizy thing even more expensive by comparison.

    As for CO2 emissions, lets not forget that the lecky to charge it would be an incremental load on the grid - and any incremental load in this country would come from burning fossil fuel (either gas or coal). The only saving then would come from differences in efficiency burning the fossil fuel at a power station (and not forgetting the conversion losses from transmission and battery charging) vs burning fossil fuel at the point of use.

    And 7K to buy it as well. Think I'll pass and stick with my old 4x4 thank you.

    But what's most annoying is that the rest of us will be paying through our taxes for these to be run by people who can afford them as an "image statement".


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