Renault’s tiny Twizy two-seater, a battery-powered electric car designed to be the ultimate in city mobility, is now in Australia.
You can’t buy one, though; there’s no category for so bizarre a thing as this ‘quadricycle’ in the Australian Design Rules, and so it can’t be registered here.
To be allowed on our roads, the Twizy would have to meet the same compliance criteria as other four-wheeled passenger cars. That’s simply not what it was designed to be.
So, for now, the Twizy is here for promotional duties only, but local Renault boss Justin Hocevar remains enthusiastic for the little city car’s potential.
“We don’t think that just because Twizy has a steering wheel instead of a handlebar it should be automatically disqualified from consideration as a legitimate form of personal transport in Australia,” he said.
In Europe, the Twizy is available both as a regular passenger car and as a (very) compact cargo carrier. A souped-up version has also been revealed in concept form, developed by performance arm Renault Sport.
Just one example of the Twizy has been brought to Australia - the regular version - and, since it can’t be driven on public roads, it spends most of its time in the foyer at Renault’s local offices.
Renault plans to roll the Twizy out for special events, however, putting the quirky two-seater in front of trendsetters and decision-makers.
“We are hoping that by exposing some opinion formers, lawmakers, and relevant road authorities to Twizy, we will gain a greater understanding of the concept and what it could deliver for Australia drivers,” Mr Hocevar said.
Mr Hocevar says the company has been taking expressions of interest in the Twizy from would-be buyers for sometime now.
He said that feedback has shown that many are drawn to the Twizy’s small footprint, both in its dimensions and with the environment.
“For commuters travelling only short distances each day, Twizy could be the ideal solution, and arguably far safer than two-wheeled travel.”
The Twizy joins the Kangoo Z.E. as the second Renault model to hit Australia for evaluation and promotional purposes.
But, while the Twizy may never be allowed on open roads, the electric Kangoo is already undergoing trials with Australia Post for a possible wider introduction.