No it’s not a rapper or the next new dance craze. It’s only supposedly the CHEAPEST electric vehicle on the market. Made public at the Paris Auto Show, this two-seater may not look all blinged out, but priced at only $9,700 – who cares!
That’s about the price of many electric motorcycles coming to market, but a little less lethal thanks to four wheels and a golf kart-like body. The Renault Twizy is being designed for drivers to be able to travel about cities as economically and environmentally friendly as possible. With its tiny frame I don’t think owners will have to worry about high electricity bills. Renault states that the vehicle will appeal to “busy, car-owning city dwellers looking for a second vehicle, as well as to younger drivers interested in a safe way to gain experience in traffic thanks to the availability of a version that will not require a driver’s license (depending on country).” A version of a vehicle that does not require a license…sounds more like a scooter than a car.
You get what you pay for, and in this case, you’re just not getting a whole lot. The Twizy measures to be a little over 7.5 feet in length by four foot wide and is just less than five feet tall. It weighs 922 pounds and has a 5 horsepower motor and a 7 kilowatt-hour battery that owners lease on a monthly plan for around $62 dollars, which is why the car is priced so low. This size Twizy is designed for those without a license, but a larger Twizy with a 20 horsepower motor is available for those licensed drivers who want more power and wish to travel quicker, and it should have a range somewhere around 60 miles at city speeds.
It’s interesting to note that Renault really seems to be targeting mass, affordable EV’s. The Zoe EV will also have a battery lease (though close to $100 a month) which drops the price of the compact French EV by more than $10,000 compared to its cousin, the Nissan Leaf.
It looks promising for European countries, however, there are no current plans to bring it to the US, and why would there be? How could anyone feel safe in a car of that size, on a U.S. roads where huge SUV’s and trucks dominate traffic? It may be a good move for Europeans, but for now US consumers should consider other options – and if cheap is what they are looking for, then perhaps they should take a look at compact car instead. At least those have trunks!