The Renault Twizy has been the French automaker’s best-selling plug-in car, and a new delivery concept experiments with a modular storage system towed with a trailer. Along with a new diesel mild-hybrid drivetrain and a two-cylinder, two-stroke diesel with thermal efficiency around 50%, Renault is looking forward to the next generation of ultra efficient vehicles.
Arguably the most exciting of these concepts is the Renault Twizy delivery concept, which rather than remaking the Twizy itself adds a trailer with up to 15 modular storage containers on board.The project focuses on three areas in particular.
Experimenting in the sphere of new uses for ‘final kilometres’ logistics.
Testing the adaptive potential of modular cargo zones in accordance with the goods on-board.
Defining an intelligent management of the fleet to achieve optimum activity and an efficient delivery service.
With a total of one cubic-meter of storage space, it won’t move mountains. It could, however, help a major retailer like Amazon or a small-time grocery alike make hyper-local deliveries without using any fuel. It’s a neat use for the Twizy, which had a lot of sales in its first year but has since slowed to a trickle.
Renault also had two diesel-powered concepts to showcase; a compact two-stroke two-cylinder diesel motor displacing 0.7 liters but making as much as 67 horsepower. It’s also about 50% more efficient thanks to a supercharger and turbocharger combo, and it weighs 40 kilograms (about 84 pounds) less than a comparable four-stroke engine.
Finally there is the HYDIVU, a diesel-electric 48-volt mild hybrid using a 10 to 12 kW electric motor mounted to the gearbox delivering additional low-end torque when the combustion engine needs the most help. Engineers also used a process called “downspeeding” to tone down the RPMs of the engine, leading to greater fuel efficiency, and toning down the twin-turbo setup as well.
The result is a 10% improvement in long-distance fuel economy, which isn’t going to save the world, but will help reduce our dependency on oil that much less. Unfortunately it comes at a time when France is actually moving away from diesel vehicles, which could leave Renault high and dry on their oil-burning investments.