• Mar 2, 2011
2011 Renault Twizy – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's not like Renault is really fighting anyone for the ultra-quirky, two-seat urban electric vehicle market, but if anyone wants to undercut the Twizy on price, it'll be tough. That's because Renault's design chief, Laurens Van Den Acker, said at the Geneva Motor Show today that the Twizy (pictured above at last year's Paris show) will start at just €6,990 (that's only $9,700 U.S. at today's exchange rate). Of course, at that price, you still need to lease the battery, but Renault is charging just €45 ($62) a month for that privilege. That doesn't include the cost of electricity, but it's also less than most cell phone bills. Think about that for a minute.

The Twizy will go on sale in Europe later this year, and we'll keep watching for more detailed information. If Nissan is having problems building the $32,780 Leaf fast enough now, how will Renault manage to get a much cheaper Twizy to all the people who want one?


[Source: Renault-Nissan]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another golf cart with a stupid name.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        At least there's a Tron-inspired graphics package available, so you don't look like your neighbor's golf cart...
        Noz
        • 2 Hours Ago
        Stop criticizing and offer some solutions...otherwise shut your trap.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        @ David Martin

        "John is entitled to criticise on any ground he sees fit, that is what a forum is for."

        Are you saying we are not entitled to criticize John?
        • 2 Hours Ago
        @David:

        In my overall analysis (primarily in response to skierpage), my closing paragraph was:

        "Sorry, but this just isn't the car for me, and the arguments which may work for some, won't work for me. It's a lot of money to spend on a limited-utility commuter / grocery-getter, when I've been accustomed to having a car which can do a lot more with far more convenience. On net, I simply can't see this as a viable choice for me.".

        I qualified my conclusion with the words "for me" 3 times, and somehow you're twisting that to say "not for anyone." Then, when you suggest a 2-seat sports car wouldn't work, I disagreed. And you again, wrongly interpreted that as "not for anyone". It seems to me that you're putting words in my mouth, and I don't much appreciate it.

        I invite you to read my posts again, and answer the following questions:

        1. Where did I ever say that this car wouldn't be "no good for anyone"?

        2. Where did I say "this vehicle is not for anyone", and then generalize from the Twizy to "all electric vehicles"?

        Now, I've been very clear that this car isn't for me, literally saying "not for me". Yes, one may infer that I would extrapolate from my situation to a larger number of people (i.e. skierpage' multi-car families in general). I see this car having a tremendously large number of downsides, thus appealing to a *very* limited market. I think the car is a nearly useless toy compared to a real car. And knowing how many impractical toys are out there, that's why I never said that nobody would want one.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        Is bunkum the only contribution you have ?

        What is stupid here ?
        • 2 Hours Ago
        John is entitled to criticise on any ground he sees fit, that is what a forum is for.
        I disagree with him, and have offered him different, and in my view more realistic, appraisals of the costs, but do not feel that he is being unreasonable in his concerns.
        Some others who post here such as FT in my view consistently give unsupported and, it seems, mendacious information.
        John does not do that, but is one of large numbers of people who do not see petrol prices ring so far as to make electric cars worth the bother of having limited range.
        I think he is profoundly mistaken in this, but that is no excuse for abuse.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        Except, if both cars currently see highway duty on a daily basis, then replacing one of them with a golf cart is pretty stupid.

        Especially if it regularly rains or snows where one lives.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        Yes, and if multi-car urban and suburban families replaced one of their cars with a plug-in golf cart, they'd save money and the world would be better off. Likewise a single driver with a regular short commute and access to a car-share service. Alternatives to getting in a wasteful 3,500 lb contraption for solo short trips ARE worthwhile.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        Guys, you say this can easily replace one of the cars in my multi-car household?

        We currently have a 3-row people hauler which this simply can't touch. To suggest otherwise is utter nonsense. So we'd be replacing my 4-door sedan, as it's mostly commuting back-and-forth, with various errands.

        From a family standpoint, as a 2-seater it's simply not going to transport a couple kids in car seats, not to mention the stroller & whatnots. So I can't split kid transport duties with the wife to run separate errands on the weekends. Lacking proper doors, I'd literally be losing toys left and right.

        Weather-wise, I've lived in places where it snows for 4+ months out of they year, and rains much of the remainder. I've also lived in places where the temperature goes above 100F for months at a time, with or without high humidity. I would miss the windows / doors / AC / heat.

        Performance-wise, my DD is an E60, and this thing can't even go 45 mph, much less cruise at 100 mph.

        Work-wise, I'd be forced to only commute surface streets, and forget about doing other business travel to customers / clients / whomever. Or even errands which take me more than a few miles out of my straight-line commute.

        Even as a golf cart, I'm not going to be able to use it to go to the various golf courses in the metro area, because all but the one down the street would require highway driving.

        And no, I'm not going to pretend that this thing has anywhere near the safety of my E60, with it's massive crumple zones, and myriad airbags. While I might survive if I crashed the golf cart into a brick wall, in many cases, one doesn't get to choose the collision. The number of semi-inattentive people driving SUVs makes this a car I wouldn't relish taking on the open road.

        So on net, this requires a radical shift in how we currently use our cars. In the pursuit of saving a few bucks, we would have to shift a bunch of secondary driving from my 25+ mpg E60 to the wife's 15-mpg 3-row hauler, not to mention the lost time from the inconvenience of small errands which take me little to no time, but take her far longer.

        Money-wise, whether there's 20% net adjustment to get to a pre-tax, pre-registration US price, or not, this car would still cost me in the neighborhood of $10k +/- $2k to purchase. I'd have to insure it, and fuel it. Those costs might be slightly less than a regular car, but the operating cost is still on the order of $1k to $2k per year. Yes, the upfront cost is less than my E60, but then I'm giving up a lot of car in the process.

        And don't get me started on the idea of supplementing this with carsharing. If I'm paying more to share actual cars, and it becomes any substantial cost for the convenience, I think I'd rather have bought / kept my E60 in the first place.

        Sorry, but this just isn't the car for me, and the arguments which may work for some, won't work for me. It's a lot of money to spend on a limited-utility commuter / grocery-getter, when I've been accustomed to having a car which can do a lot more with far more convenience. On net, I simply can't see this as a viable choice for me.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        John,
        No sensible person is trying to say that an electric car would work for everyone, still less the Twizy.
        What is inappropriate though is to generalise from your particular requirements to a critique that the car, or in this case scooter-type vehicle, is no good for anyone.
        You do not appear to differentiate between the two distinct subjects.
        Your own particular usage, although no doubt of interest to you and yours, is of limited relevance to the forum.
        In fact for my use the Zoe would not fit the bill when it is limited to 100 miles, but when it hits 150 miles it might well do.
        But my use does not determine how appropriate that or the Twizy is a vehicle.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        I was disappointed that the Twizy and, it appears, the Nissan version will not be weather protected.
        In many climates that makes it a young persons pop around the shops mobile, but it would be nice to have an old persons pop around the shops mobile! ;-)
        I reckon a lot of folks will be taping transparent plastic into the holes where there would otherwise be windows in the winter.
        Still, it competes with scooters, not cars, and is far better weather protected than they are .
        Base price in the US after taking out VAT and converting the currency might be around $7,500-8,000, and it is not a death trap as NEVs are, and also scooters with their very high mortality.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        If I traded my E60 for a Z4, I'd keep:
        = highway driving
        = unlimited range
        = secured cargo trunk
        = climate control
        + driving performance (gain, actually).

        I'd lose:
        - 2nd row of seating / cargo
        - being able to transport 2 kids / passengers

        Given the minimal tradeoff (no 2nd row for more performance), I could make a Z4 work far better than the proposed golf cart.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        John,
        You are shifting seamlessly from your particular use to generalising that this vehicle is not for anyone, and from the Twizy to all electric vehicles.
        There is no such thing as a car which does it for everyone, and a two seater sports car would be equally unsuitable for the use you describe.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        Oh, come on. I'm more-or-less typical of a *very* large segment of the population: multi-car families, which skierpage posited as the target market.

        My demographic has 2 cars:
        - a large, 3-row people hauler, typically a minivan, but sometimes a big CUV
        - a normal 4-door sedan of some sort, typically a midsize, doing commuter duty
        To discount my experience as not relevant is unreasonable. It's not an outlier.

        Yes, *somebody* might want one. That someone probably isn't one of the many working dads in a 2-car family. That somebody can get away with a car as a luxury grocery getter / commuter when the weather is nice. How many? No idea, but I'm guessing very few.
      • 2 Hours Ago
      The Messerschmitt KR200 rolls gain! They called that one the Kabinenroller for "Cabin Scooter".
      • 2 Hours Ago
      4 wheeled segway :P.. would you be seen in it? not me..

      I like myself an efficient, small, and well handling vehicle.. but this thing makes the urkel-mobile look classy.

      How 'bout some middle ground between the Leaf and this? Like an electric version of whatever Nissan's JDM Toyota IQ is. I think that would sell.
        • 2 Hours Ago
        The Urkel Mobile was an Isetta 300...which ARE totally classy!
        • 2 Hours Ago
        2WM:
        See my above post on the Zoe for 'something in between a Leaf and a Twizy.'
        • 2 Hours Ago
        I get the sense that a lot of chicks dig cute little cars though :)
        and many can't tell cars apart anyway like a porsche boxster and a mazda miata. it was red, that's it :)
        but they don't seem to like insecurity so maybe you shouldn't fear your image driving something like this.
      • 2 Hours Ago
      I think all of the people who say they would use one for daily driving have not thought it all the way through. It is not a golf cart that has a top speed of 25 mph, the Twizy goes 80MPH. I don't think I would travel that fast in something so small. http://www.kingofcarts.net
      • 2 Hours Ago
      take a look at this green mobility site that Renault is affiliated with. Theres actually some really great video content http://ecomobility.tv/
      • 2 Hours Ago
      This product doesn't make sense until you realize that Renault has been making bicycles and three-wheelers for a long time.

      http://www.renaultoloog.nl/2-&%203-wielers-english.htm

      In this context it makes sense that they could offer something between a 3 wheeler and a car strictly for urban transportation. They probably have London, Rios, Paris and Tokyo in mind, but not any city in the US.


      • 2 Hours Ago
      Noz wanted a better suggestion - OK here's one I think is very much better than this naked golf cart:

      Gordon Murray, the famously successful F-1 designer, has built the "T-25" city car.

      It goes ± 80 mph and gets 90+ mpg, and he says it will retail for $10K.

      It uses existing ICE technology, has recyclable, easily replaceable body-work panels, and it's ready for production NOW.
      • 2 Hours Ago
      The comments suggesting this can't replace a People-carrier are deliberately obtuse. Of course it can't, but then that's hardly the brief of the Twizzy is it?

      I'm single, commute 23miles each way to work each day, park in a company car-park with electric points and use public transport to travel within the city i live. Similar scenario to many of the millions that live in the city I live in. So to say this would work for 'very few' customers is just wrong. This is the first affordable and cool alternative to my current petrol car. I'd get one.
      • 2 Hours Ago
      Hello ! I'm a french Twizy owner since juillet 2012 and I'm happy and proud of that at the point where I created a blog for this nice funny electric car ! http://lavietwizy.blogspot.fr/
      • 2 Hours Ago
      This is essentially a 2 seat electric motorcycle. Sorry but I can't see the market or evel significan fleetwide efficiency gains.... yet.

      Yes, there is a not insignificant trend setter market in this country but I think their psychological baseline (for now anyway) is the Prius (as opposed this open air electric Smart car). I think you would need to sell this to a very segmented high density urban customer who is already enviro minded and driving something fairly efficient (or is already using public transportation) as opposed to a large SUV.

      I live in the Southeast and I can't think of a single place outside of certain areas of Miami where densities and climate "might" make this a practical car to own.

      2 cents..
      Anderlan
      • 2 Hours Ago
      Best candidate yet for to be the "iCar" that analysts dream about.
      • 2 Hours Ago
      I want one!!!!
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