Epic trip home, but I now have my Twizy Technic! Many thanks to IKEA

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.

Congratulations on finally getting your Twizy :). I hope someone at Renault reads this, and is embarrassed, delivering the car in such a state is inexcusable , no matter what deal has been done.
Bet you were relieved when Ikea helped, must be grim to be completely out of power:(
Sounds like the driving experience was great fun, you soon get better at eeeking the charge a bit further, I do it all the time, although no idea why, as I rarely run my Twizy very low.
I followed my Twizy for the 1st time yesterday as my son took his cousin to dinner in it and we followed in another car.
cant believe how weird it looks from a passer by perspective, the car looks like something off a sci fi movie, no,wonder it gets such a lot of attention.
Hope you can enjoy the car on a day to day basis now, look forward to more interesting anecdotes :slight_smile:

Thanks, Lightly! Took it on the school run today and caused a stir-but the farmers are fishing soggy potatoes out of the swamps on the school run and I had to travel through 4 inch deep compacted clay sludge. Can it drift!!! YES. (Saw the youtube video) I wish I could upload the photo, computer says no…

Thank god for IKEA!

Well, the Good News is that you must now be quite strongly bonded with your Twizy, even if Renault and the national charging infrastructure have both left something to be desired!

Re the “hilly” bit of your trip home, we’ve experienced much the same phenomenon with our Twizy - having to drive fast seems to drain the battery much more than hills, unless they are very severe or long. I think the explanation might be that air resistance and maximum acceleration are actually the largest calls on your energy budget at average speeds of anything over about 35mph. And hills create a virtuous circle in this respect. Technically the energy used to climb a hill is independent of the speed, but of course the air resistance emphatically isn’t. And since the Twizy can’t climb some hills at high speed anyway, some of the additional energy you need for the climb can come from the reduction in air resistance - if you see what I mean. And since hills can’t go on for very long in this country, you’ll be going down for as long as you were going up. You will do that at higher speed, but some of the additional energy needed to overcome the air resistance is now being provided for free by the loss of potential energy as you go down! :slight_smile:

Anyway, you’re now quite close to the largest Twizy recharge network (30+ points) in the country. It’s only a little over 20 miles to Hay-on-Wye, where there are several charge points, including Ian’s at Llowes. And that will give you enough juice to make it over the impressive Gospel Pass - the highest road in Wales, they say - down to Abergavenny, where you can re-charge to come back! That’s assuming you still have any enthusiasm for epic journeys in a Twizy!

Here’s a map of the ETN charge network. They’re mostly free because they’re pubs, hotels, and attractions. It’s polite to offer £1 if you’re not benefitting them in any way.

Really useful, cheers-will be nice to go out, have lunch, charge and make a day of it. Will get organised soon!

I agree that hills are less punitive than long speed stretches-the Twizy responds best to varied throttle, not a constant speed.

I hope we can meet up soon. Photo opp!!

Right, been out to put right the wrongs: cleaned and Rain-Xed the glass, emptied all the rubbish out, screw was cross threaded so binned it, used compound to polish out all the marks around the doors, used thinners to remove a scrape off the nearside mirror case back.

Rear seatbelt, pulled black bolt cap off, tightened, refitted cap-now fine-took seconds. Renault please threadlock these at the factory-they are safety items and the bolt could come out.

Squeaky driver’s door-where the two lower catches clamp the little black nubs, the door was loose, so opened it up, realigned the catch, tightened up all the torx bolts on all catches and then the retaining torx bolts holding the lower grey plastic trim on, sorted it in minutes. Now SILENT. Hurrah!

Wiper was not clearing so took a look and the rubber had popped out of the holding piece, popped it in securely, now fine.

Everything works now, but handbrake is a bit slack so the car rolls on first three clicks-well PDId Renault…

Yup - although what you’re actually doing, if I understand you right, is keeping the power more or less constant, but allowing the terrain to determine the speed. It’s a bit like cycling, really! :wink:

Yes-trying to make it flow and take advantage of the regeneration without EVER braking :lol:
I’m getting over range anxiety now.

I do two days before a recharge, but as the night and rain have taken over, a bit of range anxiety has crept in. Got home with the main battery gauge out, and a small battery indicator flashing and beeping at me! Probably have to do a charge at work to help out as I love razzing down busy dual carriageways, filtering around the queues with a bit of right foot! :smiley:

Mine only went to 98% on charge today before going off, gave it a hard run today and ran it right down, past the beeps, past the constant beep to no bars, 0 miles, restricted power. Plugged in and was on 0% (only got to 2% before today), now charging, will see how long/what capacity it gets to.

If mine does drop to the 75% max capacity in the next few years, it will be useless to me-so trying to discharge/recharge and not keep topping up 90-100%.

Yes I agree… I know Lithium Ion are not meant to have battery memory problems, but they do have an issue (I think mentioned in the Southend meet thread), with the number of recharges it can do. Just depends on your daily use I suppose… I don’t tend to do random journeys so can estimate my mileage over a few days before committing to a recharge usually at about 8%. It is odd how the gauge can sometimes display 100%, yet at other times only do 98%?

I think it may just demonstrate how difficult it is to charge a lithium battery completely. Unlike other older battery technologies, you can’t use the rated voltage to tell you when to stop - it reaches that quite quickly - yet if you continue to charge a full battery you can damage it. I think they have to use the cell temperature as well and perhaps the cell resistance as well. So in effect 98% is a “guess”, and if you reconnect the charger after it has turned off, it will often show 98%. It seems to take an age to go from 97% to 100%, often turning off abruptly before it ever gets there.

Yes, mine does that, also the fan runs from the when the display turns off until I unplug it, which is a waste of power-I forgot one night and unplugged after 7 hours and the fan was still running. Needs a controller update.

I get to work each morning with a couple of bars left and put it on charge at about 9am. I leave it all day and usually go back to it at 6pm. By that time it is fully charged 100% and the fan has stopped.

I agree the fan stays on for a while after it is fully charged but mine does go off eventually.

I’ve had no issues with the battery so far.

My fan never seems to go off-I can leave it after a full charge for hours and hours and it is still on! Battery seems ok, did 0-100% in 3hr 28mins tonight and its cold out.

I have mentioned this and it appears to vary from car to car. Only one charge in the last 4 months has it turned off before i turn it off, even after 8 hours. There was supposed to be a firmware fix in September, but there has been no news.

This fan overy run wastes about 20w, not a lot but it all adds up.

I thought someone had mentioned it-could not remember who/when/where!

Perhaps ours are due a software update? Oh, god-does that mean I have to visit Renault?

More than likely, they are not going to provide that as download on a bit torrent site :smiley:

:rolleyes: I’ll just buy a timer :lol:

I put mine on charge each day when i get to work usually after an hour or so.