The Renault Twizy will be launched in the UK on 13 April. The radical tandem two-seater battery-powered vehicle will be much cheaper than full-sized electric cars, even though it doesn't benefit from the government's generous £5,000 plug-in car grant.
Prices start at £6,690 for the Urban model and rise to £6,950 for the Colour variant, which offers a wide range of colour and trim personalisation options, and £7,400 for the Technic, which has alloy wheels and metallic paint. All have the same power pack, which provides 17 horsepower and 57 Nm of torque. Top speed is about 50mph.
The list prices do not include the Twizy's battery pack, which must be leased separately for between £45 and £67 per month, depending on annual mileage and the length of the lease term. A full charge from the mains in the UK is expected to cost about £1. Servicing costs should be much cheaper than for a conventional car; Renault reckons that continental customers will pay about EUR 50 (or a little over £40) for an annual workshop visit.
There will also be a lower-powered Twizy, the Twizy 45 (which has a top speed limited to 45km/h, or about 28 mph) for countries where local regulations allow it to be driven without a licence. Renault had not originally intended to import the Twizy 45 into the UK but emerging changes to the British licensing regime designed to cater for new vehicle categories may cause that decision to be reversed. While the Twizy 45 gives up over 20 mph to the standard model in terms of top speed, it benefits from increased range (120 as opposed to 100 km, or about 75 versus 60 miles) and, going by continental prices, it would probably also be about £400 or £500 cheaper.