Renault's Twizy city electric vehicle went on sale in UK showrooms Friday, and the French automaker saying a less-powerful version will be available for sale starting next January.

The 17-horsepower Twizy, which has a top speed of about 50 miles per hour and can be recharged in less than four hours, starts at 6,690 British pounds ($10,600 U.S. at today's exchange rates). That low price is offset by the fact that buyers must also rent the car's battery for 45 British pounds a month under a three-year contract that allows for 4,500 miles a year of driving. Other options include £545 for "scissor doors." The Twizy is 92 inches long, or about a foot shorter than the Smart ForTwo.

To promote the Twizy, Renault has partnered with DJ David Guetta. The car appeared in his "Where Them Girls At" video and is now showing up in the promotional clip for the song "Alphabeat." Independent drivers are also taking test drives in Ibiza. You can see videos of both down below.

Next year, Renault start sales of a 5.3-horsepower version of the Twizy that will have a top speed of 28 miles per hour. That car – should we still call it that? – can be legally driven by people at least 16 years old, even without a drivers license, because of the vehicle's light weight.







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GET YOUR SMARTPHONES OUT...*WORLD'S MOST UNIQUE PRODUCTION VEHICLE SENDS SHOCKWAVES THROUGH THE UK AS RENAULT'S TWIZY HITS SHOWROOMS TODAY

Renault Twizy two-seater compact, arguably the most unique production vehicle on the road today, begins showroom launch today, priced from £6,690 OTR. Battery hire available from £45 per month (based on 4,500 per miles per year/3 year contract)
Today also sees UK marketing launch of new David and Cathy Guetta partnership, with online and TV Twizy ad, 'Plug Into The Positive Energy'. As part of their global ambassador programme, it features top DJ's new song 'Alphabeat', set in futuristic club, 'Party Station'
Twizy available in three trim levels: Urban, Colour and Technic
Several options include scissor doors (£545) and metallic paint £195. All prices include VAT
Wide range of accessories includes child booster seat £55, driver and passenger blanket £110, 50-litre leisure bag £95 and alloy wheels £340
Lower powered (5hp) and cheaper Twizy 45 could come to the UK in January 2013, for drivers aged 16 and over, without the need for full driving licence, based on new **European AM category for mopeds and light quadricycles
Renault's stunning new electric two-seater, Twizy, is sending shockwaves through the UK today after its arrival at the brand's 22-strong network of Z.E. Expert dealerships.

The jaw-dropping Twizys are now available for test drives around the UK, primarily at dealers with larger suburban and urban populations, in keeping with the car's likely target customers and driving usage. The rest of the brand's official network will have their demo and display vehicles on 20th April.

Today also sees the start of the UK marketing campaign for Twizy featuring top DJ David Guetta and his wife Cathy, as part of their global ambassador partnership with Renault. The uplifting new online and TV ad campaign entitled 'Plug Into The Positive Energy', set in a fictional futuristic club, 'Party Station', where the dancefloor generates the electricity to charge the Twizys parked underneath, includes David's new song 'Alphabeat'. Created in both 30- and 60-second formats, the ad sparks into life tonight in a prime time slot on Channel 4's Hollyoaks, followed by Britain's Got Talent on ITV tomorrow, supported by a complete 24-hour homepage takeover of MSN UK. The ad is also set to air on Facebook and YouTube.

Renault's baby electric vehicle has already caused quite a stir in Ibiza in recent weeks where international media have been getting behind the wheel of arguably one of the world's most intriguing automotive creations ever.

With a tempting on-the-road price from just £6,690, it is the third of the French manufacturer's groundbreaking electric vehicle range to hit the UK market and undoubtedly the most striking.

The futuristic Twizy is just 2.34 metres long by 1.24 metres wide and is designed for a driver and one passenger to sit in tandem. The stylish, zero emission in road use, two-seater compact is charged using a standard three-pin plug. Full charge takes three and a half hours, costing around £1 (depending on energy supplier and tariff), giving a range of around 60 miles, making electric motoring practical, economic and environmentally friendly.

Renault's eye-catching Twizy is powered by a 13kW (17hp) motor with a limited top speed of around 50 mph. The bodywork is extremely visible in traffic to other road users and both occupants are protected by a deformable structure, while the outboard position of the four wheels and the lateral beams located either side of the chassis provide protection on either side.

The lower powered version, Twizy 45 (5hp), 45 kph/28 mph), was not originally planned for the UK market, however, recent confirmation that a new category of European licence – AM – for 16 year olds and over, comes into effect in the UK from 19th January 2013, means that Renault UK are now studying its sales potential.

Its safety retention systems include a driver's airbag, a three-point seatbelt and with additional strap for the driver, and a three-point safety belt at the rear. Also, since Renault Twizy's occupants are protected and held in place, they are under no requirement to wear any sort of protective gear or helmet.

With such unique looks, unsurprisingly, there are several more uncommon options and accessories than on your average four-wheeled mode of transport. Among them are scissor doors (£545), driver and passenger blanket £110 and a 50-litre leisure bag £95 which sits on the rear seat and clips into the chassis so that objects stay firmly in place. Rounding off the more traditional enhancements are metallic paint for £195, a child booster seat at £55, and alloy wheels for £340. All prices include VAT.

Thanks to its four-wheeled chassis and extremely low centre of gravity, Renault's unique Twizy delivers a grin-inducing driving experience, while disc brakes all-round ensure precise, efficient stopping power.

Twizy is available from £6,690 on-the-road for the Urban model with a monthly battery lease cost of £45 including VAT for a 36 month/4,500 miles per year agreement.

For more information on arguably the most distinctive vehicle on the UK's roads, see http://www.renault.co.uk/ze or visit your nearest Renault Z.E. Expert dealership.

ENDS

*probably

**http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicensing/DG_201188 (classification is unladen mass of up to 350kg, maximum speed of 45 kph)


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 60 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      btw, the placement of the rear fender looks a little odd to me. wont that spray a lot of water..
      Ziv
      • 3 Years Ago
      Kind of cool upgrade of the NEV concept. I like the idea of a cheap BEV, built small with shelter from the rain, but I would want it to be cheaper if it is this small. But if the second seat in the back is reasonably comfortable, maybe this will work. The backseat looks like a shelf for grocery bags in the pictures I have seen. Bigger wheels would help on a couple levels, too, and only hurt slightly on one. Anything that uses domestic electricity to get me to work or play is a good vehicle.
      amtoro
      • 3 Years Ago
      It must be pointed out that 17 hp from an electric motor is similar to about 50-60 hp from an ICE; in all, such a small vehicle should have a fairly decent acceleration (dependent on the controller capacity) despite being limited to 50 mph. It is still much more that a golf cart for Peachtree City, GA...
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      You have to pay Renault for leased batteries you "don't" own (Not included in the price) +£15,000 more over 10 years.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Nope. If you lease for longer the battery cost reduces. For 60 months at 4,500 miles/year it costs £2,700, so 10 years assuming battery lease price remain constant which seems unlikely to me would cost you £5,400 It's only another £12 pm more if you do 9,000 miles pa
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Yeah, leasing makes no sense for that little battery at that price.
      LEONARD
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hmmm i can build my own car with more range and speed for less and own the battery.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Someone needs to explain these leases to me. What happens at the end of the 36 months? Do you own the battery then? Do you keep paying? Do you have to give the car back? I don't get it.
        marcopolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        @Dave Mart, You really don't think things through do you? "the machinations of financiers making money on your back", Dave, my principle business is finance! It's the business of a financier to make money! Any lease offered, that is not subsidised must make money from the purchaser. There is nothing immoral or even odd in that, but it's essential to the conduct of a lease! I don't need evidence of an interest component, a lease doesn't make sense with out an interest component, and wouldn't have any tax benefits. We are talking about the terms of Renault's lease plan. What on earth has Ford got to do with anything? Does Ford offer a lease Plan? All these Red Herrings are simply to distract from the fact that the Renault lease plan, is nothing more than a marketing gimmick and needs careful analysis before commitment. From the beginning you confused leasing with rental. That's why you persist with advantages that don't exist. In many countries, including the USA and Australia, the total purchase price of the battery must be printed in the lease contract. That is the price, plus the interest, you will eventually pay. If at that time you can sell the old battery or trade it in on a new one, great! but there are no magic 'savings'. It might interest you to know that Renault is not the only EV maker to offer a lease plan.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I have spoked to renault, from what it appears at the end of the 4 year battery lease you are forced to sign another lease. If not Renault will either as you to have batteries removed at there showroom at an unknown cost which the customer pays and if you dont like that they will look to taking legal action So seems like the "Renault EV the cars you will never own"
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        It remains there battery. At the end of the lease period you obviously have the choice of continuing the lease or saying you don't want the battery anymore. What isn't clear at the moment though is how easy or difficult it would be to fit your own battery instead, or what the charge if any would be to remove the Renault one. I am not sure about the how it works in Europe, but the difference in the UK compared to the US is that leasing cars is very normal as taxations favour that, You would normally get the car on a 3-4 year lease, but the difference I believe compared to the US is that you have a guaranteed 'residual' as it is caused on the car. So forgetting for a moment about the battery on an ICE car you would take the car back at the end of the lease, but you then have the option to buy at that residual value. So if you had leased a Nissan Leaf, for instance, your residual after 3 years or 30,000 miles is, form memory, 46% or so. That means that after your 3 years you would have the option to buy the car for around £12,000, either in cash or financed. So it is really something we do to keep the taxman happy, and will not cost you more than buying the car. If you've got any sense what you would do is simply take out a lease on a battery over the same period as for your car. At the end of the lease you can simply hand the car and battery back and buy or lease the likely more advanced ones with bigger or cheaper batteries, maybe induction charging or whatever. You would also have other options though. It is not so clear in the case of the Twizy, which has a unique battery pack, but in the case of the Zoe it is Better Place compliant, which is a set of standards which any other battery which meets them can be easily installed and communicate with the BMS. This means that when your battery lease is up you would have the option of replacing with any more powerful batteries Renault have brought out, but also with any other batteries anyone else may make which is compliant. It's also possible that when your lease expires Renault will offer you a residual not only on the car but on the battery, so you can simply buy the part depleted battery as well as the used car. I don't suppose Renault themselves have worked out precisely what they are going to to.. So the difference between leasing at least in the UK and what you think of as leasing in the US is the option to buy at the end of the lease period, and what is more you know for how much. Effectively it is the same as if you had financed the car, with the same options.
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @Dave Mart, Ok, firstly, it's nothing to do with prejudice ! I have no prejudice against any EV ! But facts are facts ! The background and financiers of each manufacturer are important indicators of what capital investment can be reasonably expected from each manufacturer to spend on EV R&D and production. Tata's dangerous little EV quadracyles, exploiting an arcane loophole in the UK regulations, are not viable if they're produced in the US, UK, India or Mongolia ! Like Japanese 'Kei' cars in, these vehicles maybe great in their home markets, but like many products, don't work elsewhere. I have two objections to your over-enthusiasm for the advantages of battery leasing, 1) Until recently, you confuse 'leasing' with 'renting'. You ignore the costs associated with this form of finance . You claim that at the end of three years you can simply hand the battery back to Renault (having paid about 30% of it's cost to Renault, ) and Renault will cheerfully accept, not only the loss, but provide a new battery, cheaper, and with better technology. Such a plan would be financially disastrous for Renault, unless the French government was prepared to subsidise the loss. Since the French government has decided against such a subsidy, the Renault 'lease' scheme has become no more beneficial than any ordinary commercial capital equipment lease. Nothing wrong with that, (especially for the Kangoo), but there's no 'magic' option at the end of three years. You will own the battery, (having paid Renault the full cost) and pay Renault market price for any new technology. 2) Advocating that Renault leasing will somehow be able to take advantage of future 'standardised' battery capacity, sizes, design and technology, is just fantasy ! Not only would such a restriction discourage competitive development, but would produce a sort of homogenised EV vehicle market. No manufacturer would agree to such a sales inhibiting restriction. Such 'standardised' ideas have been tried, they don't produce a BMWs, but a Trabants ! I repeat, I am not prejudiced against Renault, (I think the Kangoo's brilliant !) nor am I against the idea of Battery Lease Plans. But, it's very important for people to fully understand the practical financial obligations of such schemes ! Wishful thinking, and unreasonable expectations of non-existent benefits, only ends in disappointment ! Renault's battery leasing, is simply a clever marketing method of disguising the price between the EV model and it's ICE competitor. If you buy a Renault EV, and accept the Lease plan, it will cost you more than buying outright! ( notwithstanding tax benefits). You have allowed your love of Renault , to invent unrealistic benefits, to a simple marketing ploy. There's not wrong with inventive marketing, especially if it sells more EV's, but battery leasing, it is, what it is, a sales ploy ! If it works for you, great ! But, fully understand the contract terms !
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hi Spec: The battery lease on the Twizy costs too much for what is it. The deal on the Zoe looks good though, as there is a very good probability that at the end of the lease you could hand it back and put in a more powerful battery for longer range, either leased or bought. That would be after 3-4 years, instead of being stuck with the came battery and range for 8-10 years if you had bought.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @marco: You are finally starting to realise that I have always understood how battery leasing works. One way or another you pay for the battery, naturally. You continue however in your ludicrous insistence on referring to battery leasing as a gimmick. It is no more a gimmick than any other form of finance. It was also clearly the case from the terms that the Renault terms were more favourable than the price offered for buying the whole car including battery from Nissan, a fact which Nissan have now recognised as they are going to alter the prices it seems. The discrepancy was due to the price of the Renault's, which at the time were not yet on sale being based on production costs in Europe. I noted the discrepancy and so, in this instance, not as some general principle of leasing rather than sale, noted that the lease would be the better deal. you however since you did not fancy the idea came up with all sorts of absurd notions of huge subsidies from a broke French Government, the idea that I put the difference down to leasing per se. in fact anything which did not involve you facing the idea that a French complay was offereing rather good value. For some odd reason you view things through hugely prejudiced eyes, so that everyone is supposed to think that American car companies, and God help up oil companies, are wonderful institutions who can do little wrong, whilst the likes of the French companies, and Tata etc are evil foreigners who can't engineer anything and whose every action should be treated with the greatest suspicion. I am not interested in your prejudices, nor in once more explaining that it is actually appropriate financing that leads to sales, and that without that just as in every other industry electric car sales won't take off. For the record and for the umpteenth time leasing may or may not be a good option depending on circumstance and the price offered. Neither I nor anyone else imagines that it means that you don't pay for the battery. As for being Better Place compliant, I suggest you read what the standard means, as I have provided it several times, and consider why having the battery compliant to that standard rather in the same way that having an IBM computer in the early days when you had no intention of buying an actual IBM would be a good idea, and why it likely means that you will be able to use a bought battery rather than one from Renault when the lease expires should you so choose. I can't be bothered to walk you through it yet again since you have such a mountain of your own prejudice to climb to see what is plain to the unprejudiced. Once more, as for leasing being a sales gimmick, it is no more so than finance for a car, and without finance car sales in the US for a start would be a fraction of what they are. Read the pdf on EasyBat standards which I have provided, outlining standards for battery location, size, removeability and communications and control via the BMS before saying it is useless.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          yeah, I think I'll stick with buying.
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @Dave Mart, You are finally beginning to understand how 'auto-motive leasing' works ! But you still don't seem to grasp that although technically, 'residual payments' are optional, you are still liable for any short fall between the agreed residual value, and the price recovered from the sale of the vehicle by the financier. The same contractual arrangements exist for auto-leasing in the US, and pretty much, world-wide! (Although, in the US 'automotive leasing is often confused with 'fully maintained leases' available from specialised car rental firms. These 'leases' are like renting a car on a long term basis. There is no residual, and the vehicle always remains the property of the rental company. The rates include all expenses except fuel, and have much higher month payments) [quote]"Better Place compliant, which is a set of standards which any other battery which meets them can be easily installed and communicate with the BMS."[/quote] Ah, I'm not sure how being Better Place compliant is of any advantage?! (Unless driving to Israel). Of the two options, I would rather be bound to Renault, than ripped off by Better Place! Battery leasing, is a simply a sales gimmick, designed to allow the car to be advertised at a seemingly lower price ! Obviously, the buyer must continue to lease the old battery, or buy the battery from Renault. (the car would be impossible to re-sell without a battery). In addition, the installation of any generic battery would nullify the Renault warranty, and possibly roadworthy compliance. This is the reason why warranties on ICE vehicles specifically exclude Batteries and Tyres. Obviously, this would not be feasible with EV's where the battery is an integral part of the vehicles performance. As I have tried to explain to you, Renault has only two options when it comes to battery leasing, offer a finance terms which repays Renault for the cost of the battery, plus the capital cost, or subsidise the cost of battery and lose money. So at the end of the lease, you must have either paid for the cost of the battery in the monthly payments, or buy the old battery. With the first scenario, there is no advantage to the buyer than simply financing the battery as part of the purchase of the vehicle,. The second scenario involves Renault in an unsustainable scheme that must create dissension with Nissan ! Which do you think is likely? No matter how you try to sell the battery leasing scheme, it's just a sales gimmick with no real advantage to the buyer. Battery leasing is a scheme is designed to appeal to the idealistic EV buyer who want's to believe the EV maker, and doesn't read the fine print ! There is no Santa Claus ! When something looks too good to be true, it usually IS too good to be true!
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @marco If you are not prejudiced, your comments are. You choose to wilfully confuse my remarking that a particular vehicle which happens to use leasing is at a favourable price to an untrammelled advocacy of all Renaults. Perhaps you would point out to me the posts where I have said that the Fluence has much going for it. and I have specifically said that the leasing on the Twizy sounds like a bad deal. You in in contrast apparently worship all things Ford, or even from an American manufacturer, and even choose to immoderately and without fail support oil companies who have finance much of the anti EV movement in the US. Your arguments are frequently based on mischaracterisations and loaded phraseology. For some unexplained reason you argue that battery leasing exposes you to the machinations of financiers making money on your back, without any evidence at all that that is the case. You also sought to argue that it would be impossible to install a different battery in the Zoe, when I have provided chapter and verse on the protocols which enable this, so you simply move on rather than acknowledge this. In practise many or most Zoe owners will likely simply extend their lease, but that does not mean that there are no alternatives. I suggest you actually look at the protocols for the battery, and the terms of the lease, as you can certainly hand the battery back if you so wish. Contrary to that which you assume that this will cost Renault huge sums of money, no doubt Renault will avoid this by ensuring that their battery lease terms are competitive with batteries on offer in the market at that time. You really should re-read some of your absurd defences of Ford to know what prejudice is. Since I am critical of Renault very often it is clear that I have not blinded myself in the way you have done.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Plan: Get it sold in state with state subsidy, on top of federal subsidy. Get subsidies prior to purchase. ??? Drive away with car, and dealer having paid me to take it.
      diffrunt
      • 3 Years Ago
      too many strings attached
      Chris
      • 3 Years Ago
      So I guess everyone in the USA has forgotten GEM that still builds electric NEV's that look almost the same...they have been around for a decade at least right? The battery lease would not work in the USA...IMO. people like ownership of things. Maybe a battery exchange system would work but otherwise...eh.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris
        The GEM has all the integrity of a paper bag in a crash. These are pretty decent, for what they are. See the video I have linked.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris
        Show me a GEM that can go 50mph. Legally.
      s10
      • 3 Years Ago
      I tried one the other day, they are great fun to drive! In theory it is a two seater, but with my 6.3 there is no space left for the person behind me. They aren't for sale here yet (Italy) but once I have my solar panels up the roof, I will seriously think about this little car (or a Zoe) The Battery lease may sound expensive, but it isn't that bad actually. Especially when you know that in a year or two the battery technology will be much more advanced, so at least you're not spending all the money on a battery that will be obsolete soon.
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @s10
        And honestly, no man really needs anything bigger than the Twizy for 95% of trips. We've become used to driving cars that are, even if they're the so-called "compact", really HUGE with enough room to seat 5 people! How ridiculous! Move 2000lbs+ of metal to move a 160lbs guy. Can you imagine how much time would be saved in the city if everyone swapped their huge cars for a Twizy?
        American Refugee
        • 3 Years Ago
        @s10
        s10, I can't figure it out. Does it have side windows or not?
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @s10
        The Zoe is far better value, as it qualifies for the full subsidy. You get 3 times as much battery for under double the lease cost for a start. What I am looking forward to on the Twizy is the BMS hacks so that people can stick in their own batteries. How much would 6.1 kwh of battery cost? I'm guessing you could stick in Thuderskies for maybe £1500 or so, a lot less than the £2700 for a 5 year lease.
      Grendal
      • 3 Years Ago
      I see a Top Gear segment in the Twizy's future. They'll probably blow it up, see if it's submersible, or turn it into a giant RC car. :)
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      Full review here: http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/renault/twizy/coupe-2012/ Highlights are that the insurance is group 11, a system we have in the UK which goes from 1, the lowest, which for instance the Up is, up to 50, so not the cheapest but not hugely expensive either. The safety is way beyond any motorbike or scooter, and AFAIK NEVs. Here is the video of the crash test: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwd3NLngl_k You would be in bad, bad trouble on a motorbike in that.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        BTW it is not really right to give US dollar prices including VAT. US equivalent prices are $8510 to buy, and battery lease from around $57.50 pm
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ Dave Mart Thank you for the clarification.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I am indicating what the equivalent price is in US dollars for people in Europe. The prices including VAT do not take account of the factors you have mentioned either, they are simply that, the price including VAT, just as the prices I have given are clearly shown as the price less VAT in US dollar terms. They ain't gonna import these. Nissan at their US factory could presumably turn them out at about the price I have indicated.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @marco: That is pretty much why I said US equivalent prices rather than the price to import one to the US.
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @Dave Mart Is that just a currency conversion or do you have all the costs of importation, transportation, insurance, taxes,registration, compliance and warranty, dealership overhead, advertising, local legal, approval of the battery lease scheme, and all other costs accurately calculated?
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