Say bonjour to Twizy: Renault’s stylish EV with a petite price


Size doesn’t always matter: at least not to Renault. Showcasing that it knows how to do small in a big way, the French automaker recently released its diminutive Twizy city electric vehicle in the United Kingdom.

If you’re not entirely up to speed on the Twizy, no need to worry. The Spanish-built city-electric carries a sticker price of £6,690 British pounds (roughly $10,000), features an all-electric motor, and a body structure similar to the Smart ForTwo. To ensure the Twizy’s price reflects its small stature, customers wishing plunk down the cash are obligated to lease the car’s battery at £45.00 per month under a three-year contract, which allows for 4,500 miles a year of driving.

Renault offers the Twizy  in two different models: a 15kW (20hp) versions capable of hitting speeds of 50 mph, and the lower powered,  Twizy 45, which packs a 4kW motor producing 5hp  and a top speed of 28 mph.

While not originally planned for the U.K., the Twizy 45 now looks like it will make its way there sometime in January 2013. And because of the vehicle’s light weight (992 lbs), it can be legally driven without a license by anyone 16 years or older. No doubt a little detail that will prove popular with the younger crowd. 

Range and charging times are always important factors to pay attention to when it comes to EVs, and thankfully the Twizy doesn’t disappoint in these departments. Renault’s little-EV-that-could can hit a total range of 100 kilometers (62 miles) on a single charge of its 7kWh lithium-ion battery, and reach full charge capacity in as little as 3.5 hours from absolute zero on a standard (European) 220-240 volt outlet. It goes without saying that the due to the car’s range and speed, the Twizy’s natural environment will mainly consist of the the city and suburbs.

We can’t imagine you’ll have any trouble standing out while driving one of these cute, little people-movers around town, but in case you want to express yourself a little further, Renault is offering three different trim levels: Urban, Color, and Technic. Throw down an extra £545 and you can add some super-stylish “scissor doors” as well.

By its very nature, Renault’s Twizy certainly won’t appeal to everyone (we’re not exactly sold on the name), and the car’s open-body design on each side of  the petite EV doesn’t seem well suited for the U.K.’s notoriously wet weather. Plus, it’s limited speed and range will — with a great degree of sadness and certainty — relegate it to being a strictly European affair, which we have to admit has us a little bummed. But who knows, with enough magic fairy dust and happy thoughts, it just might make its way stateside. Hey, crazier things have happened.