Autovolt Magazine

Renault Twizy Electric Car

Renault Twizy Electric Car
Renault Twizy Electric Car

The Renault Twizy is a two-seater, open sided compact electric vehicle with zero-emissions in use and certainly like nothing else on the road today!

  • Third of Renault’s industry-leading Z.E. vehicles to launch, following Kangoo Van and Fluence
  • Comfortable, safe, easy to drive and ideal for town and city driving
  • Tandem seating arrangement, with passenger accommodated behind the driver
  • Powertrain is 17hp electric motor, one-speed automatic transmission and rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, giving an official urban driving NEDC range of 60 miles and a top speed limited to 50 mph
  • Simple battery recharging process using standard-fit extending cable with three-pin plug housed under front flap, connecting with standard domestic or workplace electricity supply. Full charge takes about three-and-a-half hours
  • Cost-efficient battery hire scheme, tailored to customer mileage and preferred contract term, offering value for money and peace of mind
  • Three trim levels: Urban, Colour and Technic
  • Wide range of options and accessories, including scissor doors, removable  windows, ‘clear sky roof’ (UV filter), child booster seat, coloured alloy wheels and vehicle wraps
  • High safety levels, with built in front deformable structure, side protection rails, disc brakes all-round and driver’s airbag
  • Dedicated servicing and maintenance through Renault’s national network of specialist EV sales and service centres
  • Renault 4+ package for total peace of mind

Seen as a more direct rival to two- and three-wheeled modes of transport, particularly scooters and motorbikes, Twizy is a new concept in sustainable urban transport. Eye-catching, comfortable, safe and environmentally efficient two-seater it forms the entry point to Renault’s industry-leading range of Z.E. vehicles.

In little more than two years Twizy (a name that captures the idea of “two” and “easy”) was brought from concept to road-going reality, with key input from Renault Sport Technologies into chassis, driving dynamics and clever regenerative braking technology.

Twizy is powered by a 17hp electric motor, with a smooth one-speed automatic transmission and a light and compact lithium-ion battery pack. With weight kept as low as possible, it gives an NEDC driving range of 60 miles, ample for most day-to-day urban commutes. When the battery needs recharging, a 3m extending cable with a three-pin plug can be simply plugged into a standard domestic or workplace supply for a full top-up in just three-and-a-half hours. Choose the right energy tariff and a recharge could cost as little as a £1.50.

The all-electric system, which includes clever regenerative braking for energy recovery, gives zero emissions in use and near-silent operation. The combination of power and Twizy’s light weight allow acceleration to a limited top speed of 50 mph. And maximum torque delivery from zero rpm makes the two-seater quick to pull away in city traffic. In fact, its 0-30mph sprint is an impressive six seconds.

The curvy, semi-open design, with wheels placed outboard from the body, is distinctive and highly practical. The large, curving windscreen, with narrow pillars, gives the driver an excellent view and Twizy’s low centre of gravity and disc brakes all-round give secure stopping performance and driving stability. Scissor doors are optional, along with a Clear Skyroof. From October 2012, accessory windows which can be fitted or removed in minutes, will also be available, to give added protection from the elements.

Three versions of Twizy are available in the UK – Urban, Colour (complete with bright, street-smart colour-matched exterior wraps and interior upholstery) and Technic (with gloss black alloy wheels and cool monochrome styling elements).

As with the Z.E. models Renault has already introduced – Kangoo Van and Fluence – customers enjoy peace of mind and value for money with a battery hire programme that offers combinations of contract term and annual mileage to suit personal needs. Servicing and maintenance specific to the EV is delivered through a national network of 22 specialist Renault Z.E. sales and service centres at launch.  By the end of 2012, all Renault dealerships will be able to sell and service the Z.E. models.

Doors are an optional extra, with windows as accessories, but the unbroken curve of the panoramic windscreen into the roof and side wind deflectors afford good protection from the elements for those on board, as well as excellent visibility. The doors open with a scissor action – ideal in tight parking spots – and owners can also specify a ‘clear sky roof’ for an even better all-round view later in the year.


Twizy is a zero-emission (in road use), all-electric vehicle, powered by a rear-mounted 17hp (13kW) motor and a compact and lightweight 6.1kWh lithium-ion battery, located underneath the front seat. Keeping Twizy’s kerbweight down to a trim 474kg, including the 100kg battery pack, has helped deliver an official NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) combined cycle driving range of 60 miles, which is ample for the majority of everyday commuting journeys.

Although its powertrain is relatively modest in output, Twizy is no slouch. Driving through a one-speed reduction gear automatic transmission, it can reach a (limited) top speed of 50 mph.

And the fact its maximum 57Nm of torque is delivered straight from start-up means Twizy has a nimble, quick-off-the-mark driving character that’s perfect for town and suburban driving. And, being powered purely by electricity, Twizy produces no tailpipe emissions and runs almost silently.

In several markets, Renault sells a lower powered version of Twizy. The viability of the 5hp Twizy 45 has been increased with the confirmation that a new category of European driver’s licence for mopeds and quadricycles – AM – for 16-year-olds and older will be introduced in January 2013. No decision has yet been taken for the UK.

Renaultsport F1 technology

Renault made good use of the technology skills of the Renaultsport F1 team in developing its new electric powertrain for Twizy. Their experience, in particular with the KERS regenerative braking system used in grand prix racing, and their testing facilities were invaluable, given the short development time for the vehicle and the lack of previous in-house experience with the motor specified for Twizy.

It was decided that the system would be tested at the Renault Sport Technologies facility at Vitry-Châtillon, applying motorsport processes and the results were even better than expected. The team’s response was prompt and effective and the test programme was completed ahead of schedule, making good use of the wide expertise and knowledge sharing between the engineering teams.

Driving range

The homologated NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) combined cycle driving range is 60 miles.  In normal use, owners can expect a range of around 40-45 miles depending on their driving style, temperature, environment and topography.

Source; Renault UK