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

Christopher DeMorro

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