The first Eco Travel Network vehicles are the newly launched Renault Twizys and we are delighted that the project is being supported by Renault UK and Callow Marsh Renault.

twizy graphics2

The Twizy is an eye-catching, lightweight, 2-person, fun-to-drive electric vehicle with open sides and a funky chic look. Renault are targeting it on urban and suburban customers but, after our b-bug trial experiences, we believe the Twizy will work just as well out here in rural Wales where the roads are quiet and the scenery is stunning and we already have an active charge point network.

The Twizy is classed by the licensing authorities as a “heavy quadricycle”, which affects who can drive it, but also means that it does not qualify for the UK government’s electric car subsidy.

The Twizy has state of the art lithium batteries holding over 6kWh of electricity – about £1′s worth at current tariffs.  Driven at moderate speed on relatively flat roads in a 30mph area, the Twizy could go well over 50 miles on a full charge.  But driven at or close to its maximum speed of about 50mph (which is what most motoring journalists will tend to do!) – you should expect more like 30 to 40 miles.

It takes 3 1/2 hours to recharge an “empty” Twizy from a regular domestic mains socket, but you can put back 80% of its capacity in less than 2 hours – a charge rate of over 10 miles an hour. The Twizy driver and passenger sit on regular car seats but in “tandem” formation.  Most of the ETN’s Twizys will have “doors” but these are “half doors” so that driving a Twizy remains an open-air outdoor experience, which is what we think our Brecon Beacons’ visitors will appreciate.

As the amount of electricity generated in rural wales from solar, hydro and wind grows, it is good to know that a single set of 4kW domestic solar PV panels will provide all the power a Twizy needs or can practically use.