After a bit of a saga buying a Twizy, I finally bought one and was due to have it delivered. Unfortunately, the delivery was going to take forever as it was too narrow for a standard car trailer and a transporter was expensive. So I made plans and collected it from 101 miles away.
Turned up a Renault to collect it, signed some forms and drove it away to my planned charging stages:
1/ Friends at 21 miles (more social than needed-my mate is an electrician and has a Renault fetish and I would rather be here recharging than at city)
2/ City centre charging points at 30 miles
3/ Friend at 70 miles
4/ Home at 101 miles
So, left the garage got to 21 mile stop at 44% charge, charged to 80% in 75 mins, drove to city centre only to realise that all the free charging points needed an electronic tag to open them and there was no way I would make the next 40 miles to the second friend on the half charge I now had. Went to IKEA and asked at customer services, they pointed me to the line of free charging points outside which also need a tag, I explained the story and they kindly let me plug in to their maintenance store area and leave it on charge for the two hours needed to get to 100% for the next 40 miles. Fair play IKEA-the family had dropped me off at the garage so we then all met at IKEA and had lunch and a buying session-IKEAS common sense saw a £100+ spend by us.
Left IKEA for the next 40 mile stint-a nasty three lane dual carriageway stint for 20 miles followed by hilly busy A-roads. I was gentle at around 40mph most of the way and just creeped into my mate’s garage with empty battery indicator, beepers sounding and 1 mile range-phew! Charged for 3 hours 10 mins from 2%-100%.
Left mate’s for the last 31 mile run in the dark and rain. This was the bit I was worried about as it is very hilly with several mile long inclines and drops five times over so I was cautious doing 35-45mph and watching the bar gauge like a hawk. With the lights and wipers on, I did 35 up the hills then quickly whacked it up to 50mph at the top of the hills and used the coast point and regeneration on the down hills. I got home with 18 mile range and 4 bars-I was amazed.
Day one observations:
The quality of a few month old 800 mile Renault from a main ZE dealer…
Poor; glass/mirrors filthy, rear storage area had a screw rolling round the straw and rubbish in the bottom, both gloveboxes full of rubbish/leaflets, foot marks all round both door edges, scrape on left mirror back. I suppose it was a cost price deal, so I’ll detail it.
1/ rear seatbelt holster bolt loose so it passed its location tab and flopped flat on the seat so it has marked the plastic-its just a bolt to tighten, but it needed threadlock when car built and should have been spotted.
2/ right door squeaks constantly-looking at the nubs and lugs this has been an ongoing thing as some bright spark has filed the lugs/guides on the door bottom-will use torx and adjust this correctly.
So it is now outside my house and on charge-the display staying on is daft as it attracts unwanted night time interest-can this be turned off when charging?
First day experience being out in it:
Wild! If I was naked in a pink Aventador I would have had less attention. At least 30 people over the day leant out of their car windows and asked questions, pedestrians pointed/thumbs up/cheered/waved and every time I left it, I came back to people taking photos of it and asking questions. If I was young free and single (and more attractive, granted!), I would have had an easy time of chatting up endless lasses!
At 40mph on busy A roads (trying to keep the charge going) I thought I would have been murdered, but so far everyone has been polite and kept back until they could overtake safely-where possible-but today is Sunday and I guess a Monday morning or Friday afternoon would differ.
I straddled the nearside white boundary line and gave enough space for people to pass easily whenever I could. Many people did not want to overtake even when I pulled in and indicated-you could see they were watching the Twizy and some were photo-ing or videoing it.
It is good to drive and great fun-and the whole experience is like driving an “event” car, it feels out of the ordinary, special and fun, especially with all the mad reactions around you. For that, I can forgive the squeaking door, the daft handbrake (which is not ergonomically designed and is a pain to reach with a heavy coat and the-short-seatbelt on) and the insane beeping at a standstill without a foot on the brake.
Question is that will the driving experience, the fun and attention make this a great car or will the whole Renault experience and the little niggles start to bite?
Watch this space-I speak as I find without bias!
Today, briefly: Renault experience as expected, niggles to deal with, more competent on the road than I thought, hugely relieved it will do the hilly journey I do regularly with charge to spare, loving the reaction and interest from everyone.