The Renault Twizy.
The Renault Twizy.

Renault Twizy travels more than 50km on less than $2

THE electric-powered Renault Twizy two-seat quadricycle could be the future of transport in towns and cities.

It's not yet able to be registered or used on Australian roads, but Renault has brought the Twizy here to show off potential benefits and hopefully lay the foundation for legislative change.

Traveling at up to 80kmh, it can fully charge within 3.5 hours from a standard household power point for less than $2, and the battery is good for at least 50km, while on the road it pumps out zero emissions.

A standard Twizy will set you back about $11,600, although our test machine was fully loaded with options like doors, sunroof, Bluetooth phone connectivity and alloy wheels, which would take the price just skyward of $13k.

We sampled it this week at an off-road driver training centre in Melbourne.

Inside the Renault Twizy.
Inside the Renault Twizy. Denis Meunier

Don't be fooled by the flash looking external suspension, the Twizy has a firm ride. You feel the bumps and lumps although on good road surfaces of inner urban areas it's smooth and planted.

Already more than 13,000 Twizys have been sold around the world, the lion's share in Europe. Buyers do lease the battery for about $70 a month which means users are assured that its retains more than 80% recharge capacity.

So it's easy to drive, needs no new infrastructure, is green and affordable. All it needs now is Australian government approval...that could take years.

Renault is in the early stages of discussions with state and federal governments with a quadricycle not falling into any existing vehicle categories.

"Twizy offers a unique, imaginative and exciting view of future personal mobility, one that would fit very well into our increasingly congested cityscapes," Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar said.

"It is possible to fit three Twizys into a standard car park. For commuters travelling only short distances each day, Twizy could be the ideal solution, and arguably far safer than two-wheeled travel.

Should we change the law to let the Twizy into Australia?

This poll ended on 30 October 2014.

Current Results

Yes. They are great for the environment

71%

No. We have too many scooters already

1%

No. They are worse than cyclists on our roads

7%

Yes. Can't wait to get one myself

19%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"We are hoping that by exposing some opinion formers, lawmakers, and relevant road authorities to Twizy, we will gain a greater understanding of the concept and what it could deliver for Australia drivers.

"We don't think that just because Twizy has a steering wheel instead of a handlebar it should be automatically disqualified from consideration as a legitimate form of personal transport in Australia."

Vital statistics
Model:
Renault Twizy.
Details: Two-door two-seat electric quadricycle.
Motor: Electric synchronous AC with lithium ion battery generating peak power of 13kW and maximum torque of 57Nm.
Charging time: 3.5 hours.
Range: 50-80km.
Maximum speed: 80kmh.
Performance: 0-45kmh in 6.1 seconds, 30-60kmh in 8.1 seconds.
Weight: 474kg.
Bottom line: From $11,600, but is not yet available in Australia.



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