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The only things putting me off getting a Twizy

My offices have just moved from Victoria which is a 20-30min commute by train, to London Bridge which is an 1hr 20min commute by train. Since I do night shifts that’s a fair bit of sleep to losing in between shifts! So after doing some totting up etc it’s looking like driving into London Bridge will actually cost me similar and take me half the time. Currently I’m doing this in my beloved supercharged MX5 and really it’s ok but it wasn’t built for this, and I kind of resent using it and putting wear and tear on it for such a dreary dull drive in, it’s setup for better then that, so…

I’m thinking of a Twizy, I can’t afford to buy outright so it has to be on finance, but even then it looks like the cost of the finance (is there a cheaper way, like leasing etc? Don’t care if I never own it) would equal or be less then my current travel costs (about £200 a month) and could save me money on other trips, like going to shops or popping out to visit a friend etc…

However there are a few stumbling blocks that stop me from just going out tomorrow and buying one, and really I’m just looking for a bit of guidance to see if there is a solution.

  1. Charging. I don’t have a drive way. I could rip out some hedge and use a small part of my front garden, but it wouldn’t be a big enough space to park anything but a Twizy on, and the council would want at least £900 for privileging me with a dropped kerb. This could be the biggest deal breaker, but what I’m thinking is could I park the car on street and trail a cable across the pavement from my garden, if I stuck it under some of the rubber trunking like you see in offices etc would that be ok? I did ask the council this question, but as there was obviously no financial gain they didn’t bother answering. Otherwise does anyone else have any ideas?

  2. Range Anxiety. The main purpose for getting this is to haul me up the A20, and A2 from Orpington to London Bridge at night and then without charge haul me back. It’s a round trip and probably will potentially mean freezing cold weather with headlights, screen demisters, wipers, and if it’ll manage it my phone running for music or sat nav etc. Now my trip is about 26 miles and I know a Twizy is estimated at a minimum of 30, but is that with all that on? This isn’t terribly hilly for chances to recharge, and generally it’s drive at 30/40mph, stop at lights, drive at 30/40mph stop at lights and so on. I did ask at the dealership if I could borrow one overnight to use for my commute and see how it measures up, as I need to know not just that it can do it now but that in future years it’ll still be able to do it when approaching that 75% battery change threshold. However the answer I got was that they couldn’t loan it out for more then 4hrs, I’m tempted to ask Renault themselves, but was just wondering based on peoples experiences here am I asking too much of the Twizy and how likely are Renault to let me borrow one overnight?

  3. Vandalism and Theft. Anyone had anyone problems with this? I saw one owner seemed to get some Westwood stuck over his seats, but otherwise how have other peoples experiences been? I’ll have doors and zip out windows fitted (don’t fancy the solid lexan one’s as I want to be able to open the windows if hot), so it will appear “enclosed”, and I’ll have a steering lock on it. I know realistically my mx5 is about as secure but I know other peoples perception of a vehicle can affect how likely they are to try anything with it, my mx5 is perceived as a locked car and so gets treated as such, I’m worried this won’t be the case with the Twizy encouraging people to mess with it (like Tim Westwood, I’d have killed him if it was mine). It’ll always be road parked, either when I’m at work or at home. It would consume power but is an alarm with a microwave sensor an option (would detect movement in the cabin and around the car), surely the anti lift alarm consumes power too so instead of a lift alarm could I fit one of these instead or would I just end up with flat batteries?

  4. ZOE. Everyone seems to raving about it, and although I doubt it’ll be as much fun, it does seem a lot more practical. The main deciding factor is if I can get it, and insure it within my £200 budget, I don’t think it’s possible but does anyone know of any deals or offers that could say otherwise.

  5. Renault dealers, and sticking bits. Seems to be an issue for some owners, but it’s always hard to get a representative idea though from a forum if these issues are isolated incidences or if it’s a wider spread issue. Are these really common issues I’m likely to be plagued with or only if I’m horribly unlucky?

Sorry for the massively long post, and thanks in advance for any help, advice, or experiences people can pass on here :slight_smile:

In response, a few comments. Just my opinion as an urban Twizy owner, others will (hopefully) give you their point of view also.

  1. I charge mine on street with cable and trunking across the pavement. No problems so far. Alternatively I think you can use a CB radio aerial to arch the cable overhead.
  2. The Twizy will give you better range under 30mph and has a separate battery for lights and wipers. So traffic is your friend in this car. Having said that, your journey of 26 miles gives little room for error, for instance if your charging cable gets unplugged by a loved one to charge up their iPad (this happened to me) then you will have to leave the Twizy at home for the day.
  3. I stupidly parked my Twizy outside radio one, the PR damage caused by the Westwood wasn’t too costly to fix though. I have had no issues with it parked on the street and its an open Twizy, I don’t like any of the current window options that so far would look more at home on a caravan than a 21st century EV. A motorcycle cover would be my preferred street protection except that traffic wardens hate them if the permits and tax aren’t visible.
  4. I have already ordered a Zoe, it is much more of a car in the traditional sense. The Twizy is more a motorbike/car crossover. You have to ask yourself if you were happy to do the same journey on a silent motorbike on a dry day without the need for a helmet, if so then the Twizy is for you. If you try to convert it into a car with windows, heaters, music and boot storage you may feel slightly short changed.
  5. Dealers, shmealers. Renault West London, so far has been excellent.

The Twizy is the best car I ever owned, in terms of driving fun, and the cheapest to run. It takes a leap of faith to decide to own one and it sounds like you will. The bottom line is that it is electric and once you’ve driven one its difficult to go back.

Welcome ISOMX

A lot of good questions some of which I cannot give a definitive answer too but here goes.

  1. Finance
    I thought my dealer offered me a deal at less than £200 a month including the battery rental. Not 0% finance though.

  2. Charging
    Dropped kerbs can be put in by anyone but have to be done correctly. Or use bits of wood (from a skip in case some one walks off with them).
    Cables across the path aren’t liked but if done for short periods ie. only while charging and the path isn’t very busy then people do do it.
    Can you not charge it in London?

  3. Range
    26 miles is within range. All night time travel, music, windscreen demist lights and minus temps I have never managed to get less than 34 miles range from mine. But I do go home up a big hill that really takes it out the range when keeping up with the traffic. Even at -6 the range is still over 30 miles.
    Two up with on a flattish route in November (-4c to +3c) I got nearly 50miles range. Must say though on my hilly daily route I would not get over 44 miles range in the Summer and 36 Winter
    The Lights, screen heater, Music all come from a separate 12V battery and have less affect on the range than you would think. The 12V battery is small and when load will deplete and pinch a recharge from the traction battery. The heated screen is only required until it has cleared and you are moving after that mine stays clear. But I don’t have windows.

  4. Vandalism
    Not yet had any issues. The car is still novel and with too many people looking at it the toe rags stay clear. Did have some kids wave their arms through the window to try to set an alarm off once.

  5. Zoe
    If you cannot charge or afford a Twizy then this is perhaps not worth looking at. You are right that the Twizy is fun.

  6. Faults
    As you say hard to tell. It depends on what you get and how it is stored and used.
    Only those with issues will speak up so there will be a bias towards there being problems. I have had mine since June and used it nearly every day with no issues. In fact I’m selling my Trail bike because the Twizy is more fun in the snow.

Windows are for wimps :slight_smile:

Go for it:-)

So the cables under trunking is sounding viable then. Unfortunately whilst westminster has embraced the twizy, Southwark are about more meh about it. Only 3 charge points are in walking distance, 1 is in an ncp, and the other 2 (singular) points are 4hrs max stay and their controlled times overlap my working hours and are max 4 hrs stay, besides as they single points I’d not only not want to gamble on them but would feel twattish hogging them for ten hours while I’m at work.

The windows while I’ll admit I won’t complain having them there in the rain they are really to discourage people and stop any passengers from whinging it’s cold. Personally I’ll probably have them unzipped all the time I drive in the dry regardless of temprature (except in the rain) after all I used to ride a motorbike and drive a convertible for a reason (hence part of twizy’s appeal)

Just to point out that the driver does not get wet while driving in the rain. Fit the optional Mud flaps the the passengers stay a lot drier.
The Motorbike coat is what I wear when it is below 5c. Otherwise just a jacket over a work shirt. Tough up North. :slight_smile:
The windows will help with the cold wind in the back for the passenger. I just tell them to stick on a big hat!

Oh well the windows will stay unzipped all the time it’s just me then :slight_smile:

Unfortunately as the Twizy does not have a sound system I would have no way to cover the whinging of my passengers, unfortunately down south and especially of the female variety, they are a bit softer and a bit more whingy.

I have just been on to Renault UK, they are trying to find me a 24hr test drive :slight_smile:

No. Windows are for wimps who have doors already. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

[You probably won’t be able to get a Twizy [I]au nature (i.e. without doors) in the U.K. for much longer anyway. That may be the let-off you need!]

I would say go for it, your only here once and the Twizy will make you smile. What more do you want :slight_smile:

A 26 mile round trip is easily doable in all weather. As for parking in London, you may want to consider this option: http://www.q-park.co.uk/parking/london/q-park-butlers-wharf

You said you do night shifts? Well, Butlers Wharf Q-Park do a night time and weekends quarterly season ticket for £165. They also have charge points with Source London. You may also be able to get an extra discount because you’re an electric car. It would be worth seeing how much their electric car season ticket is anyway as it might work out the same price but then you can park in there 24/7.

I realise it isn’t right where you need to be, but it can only be a 10 minute walk away maximum. I reckon this is your best bet.

Go get that Twizy!!!

I’ve just thought…where are you currently parking your MX5? Seeing as the Twizy would be able to do a round trip, can’t you just park it in the same place?

This car is completely bonkers, totally impractical, cold, draughty, BUT… It’s the most fun you’ll have with lots of clothes on, it’s a great way of interacting with your fellow man and like our other member said, you only live once. This car should be on everyone’s bucket list!!!

IMHO, the Twizy is GREAT as a toy, but as a serious commuter tool, there are too many compromises. There are better and more practical alternatives around. I think if one is going to use it as a serious tool, once the novelty value has worn off, one will realize the many limitations. But as a fun toy, you just can’t beat it.

Don’t agree, depends what you want to do with it. I’ve had mine since June and just returned with the wife from a family shop at Iceland. Okay lots of bags packed round the passage foot area. But a full freezer shop makes the car good for commuting and for shopping. I carry lots of differerent things. Great for trips at the weekend into peak district. Not just fun but practical.

I also think the Twizy is a very practical choice, not just a Toy. Having taken mine apart quite a bit I can say its very well made as well.

And it’s a little bigger than your other electric ride;)

Please don’t get me wrong, I love my Twizy to bits. But I am not blind to its faults and limitations. I and probably most of you on this forum are committed Twizy fans so we are prepared to overlook them. But for some who might have bought the Twizy thinking it is the perfect tool for short commutes will find it wanting in quite a few areas. My main request to Renault for Twizy Mk2 is to give it proper doors and windows. In its present form it’s all very well for warm and dry countries, but for the UK it is totally impractical.
Personally my Twizy is a very EXPENSIVE toy, worth every penny since it has given me more FUN than I have had in a long time. Yes, I did say expensive. Running cost (not including depreciation) is quite high. For 4000 miles a year it will cost £540 for battery rental and say £130 for charging. Insurance is relatively high as most of us have found out. Worst still is the initial buying cost. A Technic with doors and windows will cost you well over £8K (although I got my ex demonstrator for £5600). Plus £3K for batteries, ie if you can buy them, makes it a £11K+ car. For that money Renault can sell you almost TWO of their Dacia Sanderos at £5995 OTR each!!! Think about it.

Compare it to a motorcycle which I see as the only potential alternative and actually the cold weather argument goes out the window though!

I’ll agree the initial buying cost is too high, really the government if they were really committed to EV’s would be applying the 5k grant to these too, they fly out the door then, however despite the high initial owning cost it’s still cheaper and faster then a train in certain situations.

I could divulge the secret of my parking for free 3mins from work but then I’d have to kill you :wink: