Will Canada Embrace The Renault Twizy?

The Renault Twizy is now available in Canada. Do we care? Most of us snicker at the thought of low speed electric vehicles. “Glorified golf carts,” we call them. But will they have a place of honor in the green car revolution? The notion of mobility is changing. As more and more people crowd into cities around the world, having a small, light, highly maneuverable, easy to park vehicle available to take us a few miles from home and few miles back is beginning to make more sense.

Renault Twizy

Let’s face it. Like most vehicles from the land of champagne and brie, the Twizy is, well, quirky seems like the right adjective. It is limited to a top speed of 25 mph. It comes without doors (they are an available option, however). And it looks more like a lunar rover than a car. The province of Ontario, which is where a lot of us are going to go when Donald Trump becomes president, has recently announced a major program of electric car incentives.

That EV friendly environment has convinced Canadian company Azra, which specializes in the installation of electric charging infrastructure, to start selling the Renault Twizy to its customers. The Canadian government recently approved the Twizy for sale in Canada as a low speed vehicle. In the US, such cars are known as neighborhood electric vehicles and are allowed on certain public roads where their limited top speed will not interfere with other traffic.

According to Green Car Reports, the company will provide more details on how it will sell the Twizy, along with pricing and other specifications, at an event to be held in Montreal on April 15. Azra will stream the introduction live on its website that day. Maya Vautier, Renault’s press officer for EVs and environment says, “Renault wanted to find an innovative way & partner to sell [the Twizy] in Canada.” She calls the Twizy “a particular and different object, between a car and a moped.” That seems an apt description.

The Twizy is part of car sharing services in Yokohama, Japan and San Francisco. It is also Renault’s best selling electric car in France. Will it be a hit in the northern climes of Ontario? A Tesla Model S P90D it is not, but it might just be the small, fun, and rather adorable electric car that most people really need. We will know soon enough.

Photo credit: Azra

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.