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
    Coat

    Oo looky!

    The Sinclair C5 is all growed up now.

  3. Jonathan White
    FAIL

    Wut?

    £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.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/car-manufacturers/renault/8466548/Renault-Twizy-review.html

  8. Rikkeh
    WTF?

    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
    Troll

    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

      Wear

      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

        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
      Stop

      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
      Happy

      Reminds me of....

      http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/3676170/c_1/1%7Ccategory_root%7CNursery%7C14417537/c_2/2%7C14417537%7CBaby+toys%7C14417556/c_3/3%7Ccat_14417556%7CBaby+walkers+and+ride-ons%7C14417561.htm

    8. Chimp
      Pint

      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
    FAIL

    £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
    Badgers

    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
    Boffin

    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
    Happy

    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
    FAIL

    My god...

    Could they make it any more ugly???

  17. The Alpha Klutz

    Disgusting

    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
    Headmaster

    £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
    FAIL

    Uh?

    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
    Flame

    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 UK.gov 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
    Go

    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
    FAIL

    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
      Stop

      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

      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

        @AC

        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
        Unhappy

        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..

      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
      Stop

      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
    WTF?

    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

      Trabant

      "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".

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Batteries? That's probably the true cost, so not green at all

      The battery life/cost of 32p/mile is reasonable. I'd guess it is a true-cost reflection of what a rechargeable actually costs, taking into account it's manufacture and disposal costs. I doubt that Renault make any monkey out of the battery rental side (and that it will only increase, over time).

      The question that then arises is whether that makes battery operation any greener than petrol/diesel operation. On the presumption that petrol taxes already cover the CO2/carbon costs in $$$/ton - even though the government has chosen not to spend the revenue on carbon reduction - the answer would appear to be NO, since the electric operation costs are so much higher than petrol costs.

  28. Kabbie

    Rip-off britain or math-error?

    Either crossing the channel has got more expensive recently, or those rental figures are off.

    From Renault: "The monthly subscription is €45 inclusive of taxes for an annual distance travelled of 7,500km"

    So the 4500 miles is per year, not over three years.

    Still not convinced I want a 4-wheeled scooter...

  29. JP19

    The problem with EVs

    I have said all along the problem with electric vehicles is batteries are crap and expensive.

    Here we have a demonstration, 32p a mile for a battery crap enough to take an overgrown roller skate 60 miles.

  30. xj25vm

    Expensive

    So £12000 (including government subsidy) for an electric cart - without batteries. Considering that, without the batteries, the rest of an electric car is cheaper and simpler mechanically then an internal combustion one, and that the rest of the electronics/controls are not that expensive in the bigger picture, this is an heck of an expensive car. You can get plenty of larger petrol (and even some diesel) cars (including from Renault themselves) for less then £12000. What the devils are they thinking?

  31. David Barr

    False Economies and Marketing...

    Seems they're trying to make the lack of doors - which you just simply need - to be an advantage. Where ever you take the thing, assuming it's too big to pick up and put in your pocket, you'll want to close, lock and secure it.

    Surely for car purchases people aren't daft enough to just see the headline price and can see the real cost of it.

    Even if they are doing battery rental and taking that hassle away from the consumer, which is welcome, they should be including a years battery rental in the price.

  32. paulc
    FAIL

    2nd seat?

    you'd have to be dimensionally challenged to be able to get in the back seat...

    Anyway, 4500 miles? pah, I'd hit that easily just doing a daily commute in under a year...

    plus the charging point? How would I be able to charge it as I live in a tower block?

  33. Anton Ivanov
    Thumb Up

    Excellent one purpose vehicle - commuting to railway station

    Home to railway station and back home.

    The battery is also about right. 20-30 miles a day for most people, 250 days a year makes for 1000-1500 miles a year. So 4500 for 3 years is not crazy considering the vehicle purpose.

    If you need a second vehicle just for a commute - why not. It is definitely safer than a scooter and you stand a fair chance of arriving reasonably dry even in British weather. Price is also about right - on par with a high end scooter like the Honda Silver Wing.

    In fact, this is the old BMW C1 idea redone for electric and quad. As long as UK gov does not make you wear a helmet in it, it will sell.

  34. M.A
    FAIL

    no chance

    Several fails no doors bit cold in winter. having to rent the charger.cant really see it catching on.

  35. The BigYin

    Umm...

    ...isn't that just a battery-powered C1 with 4 wheels? Think I'd rather have a C1 to be honest (and repeal the stupid helmet laws for such a machine).

  36. Lamont Cranston
    Thumb Up

    This looks like quite a good idea,

    providing you live in London, or some other large city. I could even see it worthwhile as a second car, for commuting to work (my total daily mileage is just under 50).

    We're still some way off proper electric cars though - my wife was looking at the Nissan Leaf at the dealer's last week, as was advised by the salesman to steer well clear.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3 years of 4500 miles

    4500 miles = ~30 miles per week over three years. That would mean I'd be able to get to work one day per week and have to walk back that day and both ways the rest of the week to avoid added charges.

    This sounds like the motoring equivalent of a low budget airline.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    That looks great

    I think the "car" looks ace and the reviews I've read so far have said that it's a hoot to drive.

    Once you can get over the lack of doors, where to find charging points etc it seems to make some sense. Even when you include the cost of battery rental it works out cheaper than virtually all other cars, and that's before you even factor in the savings of using electricity rather than petrol.

    I'd love to try one, but I don't need one so I won't be putting my name down.

  39. Just Thinking

    Well done Renault

    Makes my Clio Campus look not quite so crap.

  40. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Still too much

    Doesn't make much sense for me. Firstly the battery rental cost, what are the chances that Renault decide to hike that charge at any point?

    Then there's the electricity usage and with a 15% - 25% hike on the way it will get more expensive. Then you have to buy the damn thing as well.

    At it stands I'm better off running my diesel estate, it has enough room for a fridge freezer in the back. 5 people with the seats up and my monthly fuel spend is only around £80-100.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    three-year period and 4500 miles

    They're having a Le Laugh at us.

    1500Miles a YEAR....after paying 7k for the car and £40 a month...if you only do 1500Miles a year wouldn't it almost be cheaper to rent a car everytime you use it? considering depriciation, yes it would.

  42. John Riddoch
    FAIL

    Er, what?

    No doors to "ensure enjoyable open-air motoring" - they are aware that it rains in Britain, right? And if it's not raining, it's probably blowing a gale with associated wind chill factor?

  43. Duncan Hothersall

    2 seats?

    Are those pictures of a different vehicule then?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      erm

      "The battery is also about right. 20-30 miles a day for most people, 250 days a year makes for 1000-1500 miles a year. So 4500 for 3 years is not crazy considering the vehicle purpose."

      Huh!?

      20 x 250 = 5,000 miles per year x 3 = 15,000 miles for three years

      30 x 250 = 7,500 miles per year x 3 = 22,500 for three years.

      And, don't forget, a daily journey is both ways, 20 - 30 miles is probably very conservative.

      1. Anton Ivanov

        Fair enough

        Should not post before first coffee... Lost a zero somewhere in the math...

        4500 is indeed not enough to get you around. You are quite right - you need at least 22500

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      it seats two

      the second person sits on the driver's face. it helps if you're better than friends.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    EH?

    Quote:-

    Renault wants 20 quid off you if you want to reserve a Twizy, which goes on sale in the spring of 2012. Says the Ts&Cs: the reservation fee doesn't guarantee you'll get a Twizy, or even that it'll be released in the UK after all.

    Eh?

    I'd expect Trading Standards will be looking at this very closely. IMHO this is on very dodgy ground indeed.

    1. Grease Monkey

      Dodgy?

      Dodgy? Yes, but also pretty much standard practice when it comes to deposits and reservations.

      Look at housing developments. Pay £500 to reserve your plot for three months they say. And if they haven't built the house after three months? Well then you pay another £500 for the next three months. Once they have a deposit on a plot of course they are under less pressure to build on that plot because they are making money out of it. And are these deposits returnable? Are they hell.

      One car dealer told me I could pay a fee to "reserve a place in the queue". Not, you will notice, "reserve a car". The contract made it clear that the non-returnable deposit bought you a place in the queue, but there was no guarantee of how long it would take to fulfill all the orders or indeed the number of cars that would be made availavble. They were happy to keep selling places in the queue no matter how many people paid up. I asked one of the guys in our legal department to look over it and he said that although testing it in a court of law might decide otherwise he thought the contract was probably legal. So IOW you could pay your deposit, wait three years, get no car and no return of your deposit.

      The problem is that often the T&Cs make it quite clear what you're paying for and as long as that is pointed out when you pay up you have very little comeback.

  45. Richard 12 Silver badge
    FAIL

    That's truly stupid

    A decent 2nd hand diesel car costs less to buy and less to run, even before you include the cost of electric to charge it with!

    Eg: Citroen Picasso, £2000, 11p/mile urban use (real figures, not manufacturer) - and that is with the current 141p/L

    Newer are probably better.

  46. TWB

    No doors - not as bad as you might think

    I like the look of it but think it will not catch on even if the batteries were free - people are too set in their ways as the comments above sadly show - we're all doomed anyway.

    However, as someone who owned Mini Moke outside and inside London for 15 years - believe it or not, with no doors (I never used mine - they stayed wrapped up in the loft) you stay surprising dry even in the heaviest of rain - it was only when there were severe side gusts did I get a bit damp but with a decent coat and gloves I was rarely cold even through winter.

    Saying that, I still don't want one.

    1. Grease Monkey

      Why?

      Why is it that whenever a new car is mentioned somebody will always compare the price with that of a second hand vehicle? That's not how the real world works and you know it.

      Oh and I have to contest your figures anyway. 11p/mile? At 60mpg that is fuel costs only. What about your other costs? They are quite significant. Insurance, servicing, tyres, tax, congestion charging (if you happen to live or work in London). Tax and congestion charges would cost your Citroen how much? Servicing would cost more because there's a lot more to service on an IC engine. Tyres (and brakes and bearinga) will wear out more quickly and cost more for your diesel because of the extra weight over an above the scant 990lb of the Renault.

      We used to reckon that even on a used car fuel only amounted to half the running costs as a rule of thumb. The proportion being lower the newer and more expensive the car and therefore the higher the depreciation cost. With current fuel prices it's probably not quite that low, but still lower than many people think.

      It's all well and good quoting 2 grand as the purchase cost, but you are looking at a car of something going on for ten years there. You could run this Renault thing for three years with no MOT costs, your Picasso would in the same period require not only the MOT test fees but the costs of the repairs it will need every year.

      If you want to work on running costs that only consider fuel costs then of course the Renault would cost a fraction to run of your old rust bucket.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Yeah, there are those other costs

        All of which except the congestion charge and road tax apply to both vehicles.

        I'd still have to insure it and to service it either way.

        Tyre cost is irrelevant as I've not actually needed to replace any tyres on my rust-bucket in five years, so I'd expect these to last at least that long. (The odd puncture repair job, but that'd happen to anything)

        Insurance is an unknown - I'd guess insuring a brand-new vehicle to be more expensive than an older one, but that is a guess as the vehicles are in very different classes.

        Servicing the Renault is not going to be cheaper - I can take an infernal combustion engine to any garage I like, while this Renault would have to go to the dealership - and probably a specific one.

        That takes the cost of a simple service way, way up, so the 'simpler' Renault service may well be more expensive! (And maybe it's not even simpler?)

        As to the brand-new/second hand comparison - this makes perfect sense. This vehicle would not be the first vehicle in a houehold, and it's aimed at 'greenies'. What's greener - buying a brand-new vehicle for your second 'commuter car', or buying a second-hand vehicle?

        The rust-bucket is clearly greener on the manufacture argument, so the new one has to be green (which actually means cheap) enough to run to outweigh the materials cost.

        However, if you're in the congestion charge zone daily, you have a good argument.

        So that's the only place on Earth that'd I'd ever expect to see this vehicle.

  47. Lottie

    runk?

    It reminds me of the version one terminators from T3. Well maybe the T1 robots simple half brother.

    Sadly, the model for hiring and whatnot just doesn't add up. 30 odd pence per mile is more than I get from my Ka and I've done over 1500 miles in the past month. Sadly it would work out super expensive and far too restrictive.

    Plus, I couldn't keep an emergency jacket in the back as it'd get nicked.

    Fail all round then.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scooter

    It's basically a four wheeled scooter and think of all the scooter you could get for seven grand. But it doesn't have the advantages of a scooter, but has many of the disadvantages such as getting wet and little crash safety.

    The people selling vehicles homologated as quadricycles don't exactly advertise the fact that quadracycles don't have to pass crash safety tests. For a manufacturer or retailler this is a big advantage because the vehicles are cheaper to build because they don't have to build in all the impact protection, they are also cheaper because they homologation process is cheaper. The trouble is that buyers often don't know that these vehicles may be incredibly dangerous in even a low speed accident because they don't have to pass crash tests.

    Also the rear accomodation looks incredibly cramped from the photographs, I'd be more inclined to call it a 1+1 than a true two seater.

    If you don't want to burn fossil fuels I understand Suzuki have a fuel cell version of the Burgman Scooter on the way. 220 mile range and a fair bit faster than this weird looking thing.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Electric bike a better prospect

    This is a commuter vehicle, by the sounds of it, for short journeys inside cities. For this purpose, an electric push-bike (which I own) or an electric scooter is a far better choice! With the push bike, there is no insurance, a backup power system if you run out of charge and it is about 5 times cheaper to get a decent bike + battery. I'd love an electric car, but this won't be the one.

  50. Grease Monkey
    FAIL

    Too Heavy

    According to DVLA rules a quadricycle with a continous rated power output of more than 4KW but a maximum of 15KW has an upper weight limit of 400Kg. Renault are quoting a weight of 450Kg for the Twizy. So according to the DVLA the Twizy does not qualify as a quadricycle and as such would need to be fully type approved and registered as a car.

    Either Renault need to trim more than 10% of the weight off the Twizy (no easy task) or they will have to sell it as a car. That will not only mean they will have to get the thing type approved which is a costly process, but they will also need to bring it up to TA standards for a car. This will mean they will cost more to manufacture and will weigh more.

    The only other hope they have is to go for a low volume type approval which is less stringent, but it would limit the number of Twizys they could sell per year. Not that much of an issue since I can't see them selling many in the first place.

    1. Anton Ivanov

      There was some loophole in that rule for electrics

      There is a loophole in the quad rule for electric. IIRC it is either the weight is taken without the battery or something else like that. The version you are quoting is the petrol only one which the g-wiz fails as well.

      Try to find the full definition.

      1. Grease Monkey

        Battery

        The rules for electrics do indeed exlude the weight of the battery, according to the DVLA the battery is the fuel and the weight of the fuel isn't counted for an IC quadricycle. However the battery in the Renault doesn't weigh anything like 50Kg.

  51. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    A-ha! I've got it!

    I've seen through Renault's plan! This is actually a cunning scheme to put people OFF electric cars and make their other products look good! Now it all fits, it even gives them an excuse to avoid green measures. The next time the EU starts moaning at the car makers for not building leckycars, Renault will shrug and say "Well, we built the Twizy, and no-one bought it...."

  52. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    FAIL

    I guess some Frenchmen have not forgotten Agincourt or Waterloo.

    How else to explain something that sucks donkey's scrotum so badly.

    No doors x no battery x s**t basic mileage = Expensive rubbish urban driving experience

    Looks like something you could offer as a rental at a holiday resort.

    I believe the issues around battery cost, charging and replacement are *the* big issues. For the foreseeable future it will be a question of how a design copes with the less-than-perfect battery technology they choose to use *whatever* the type chosen.

    On the plus side who'd steal it and the lack of doors means you can bail out quickly if you get into an urban fire fight with other armed motorists.

    But for normal people the fail is strong in this design.

  53. Alan Denman

    The Sinclair X1 is better looking

    So if I bought the X1 for £600 can I get that £5000 grant too?

    Neither seem to be cars as such yet its only Renault that is taking our government for a ride.

  54. John 62
    Headmaster

    what's a quadbike?

    is that, like, 8 wheels? 4 bikes strapped together?

    Glad to see a few commenters have written quadricycle.

  55. Max Entropy

    Nice Golf Cart

    Pretty cool but where are you supposed to put the golf clubs?

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