Electric Vehicles Renault-Twizy-ZE

Published on November 16th, 2012 | by Christopher DeMorro


Europe’s Best-Selling EV Is Barely A Car At All; Bow Down To The Renault Twizy

With major automakers struggling to find a way to market and sell electric vehicles to the masses, just about every idea is being tested. Yet success seems to be coming from an unlikely source. Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle isn’t the Nissan Leaf, the Opel Ampera, or any other EV we’ve heard so much about. Instead, it is the Renault Twizy, more quad than car, and the key to its success isn’t style or range…it’s all about the price.

Sales of the Renault Twizy only began in February of this year, yet in just nine months sales have surged past competitors, with 7,895 units being moved so far. That is more than the Nissan Leaf has sold since the end of 2010, with just 6,257 Leafs sold in all of Europe to date.

The key to the Twizy’s success is its incredibly low price, starting at just $12,300 with a $75 a month lease price. Doesn’t sound that cheap, but for Europe, that’s chump change. The Nissan Leaf by comparison costs over $44,000 in mainland Europe after taxes and fees are assessed. Granted, there are generous tax incentives for EV ownership…but that’s a wide price gap to overcome.

Yet in this case, you get what you pay for. The Renault Twizy has a top speed of just 28 mph, though it can travel as far as 60 miles on a single charge. Also, the Twizy can drift, and looks like a great deal of fun to drive to boot. Of course Renault has also been giving Twizy models away for buyers in hard-hit countries like Spain.

Things like doors are optional though, and don’t provide much shelter from the elements even if you do buy them. But the Renault plan of offering cheap EVs and leasing the battery pack to customers seems to, at the very least, be helping Twizy sales. As for Renault’s other EVs, including the Zoe, aren’t what the automaker hoped for. That seems to be the general consensus these days.

Source: Business Insider

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Jason Carpp

    (laughs) That’s not a car, that’s a golf cart! That’d be fine for city driving, or for driving around an apartment complex, but hardly appropriate for long distance cruising. And if you have an accident while driving this thing, you’re toast.

    • http://gravatar.com/1111 1111

      dear captain obvious, it’s not meant for long distances, not even replace your conventional gas car. it’s niche is commuting in urban environments and surroundings.
      and concerning security, it comes with airbags. do you know what’s unsafer? bicycles and motorbikes. please keep some of your laughs for them

      • Jason Carpp

        Well, excuuuuse me!

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  • Marc P.

    Well… I can’t quote any hard facts, but I imagine that a huge percentage of car trips are short ones within a city with only one occupant… so this vehicle does indeed make sense.

    Consumers in Europe seem to think so.

    Having this as a second car… would indeed make a lot of sense for me. I would leave the gas car in the driveway 80% of the time. It would need some tweaking to be viable in -20C winter weather, but maybe they have a “winter package”…??

    • Jason Carpp

      @ Marc. I agree. It’d be perfect for city driving and around the city limits. For cold, winter driving, I’d suggest a plug-in heater to keep the engine warm during the night, so that you can start it up when you start the day.

  • http://gravatar.com/anderlan anderlan

    Pretty sure this thing has a 47mph version and the 28mph one is for unlicensed folk to be able to scoot around in.

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