Renault Twizy low-speed electric car comes to Canada

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways March 21, 2016 16:51

Renault Twizy low-speed electric car comes to Canada


The Renault Twizy has always been an unusual vehicle, the sole low-speed electric vehicle to carry the brand of a major global automaker.

Sold in a number of European countries, it’s been tested here and there in North America.

To date, the only way to experience a Twizy has been to rent one from San Francisco’s Scoot Network, which is offering them on a test basis as “Scoot Quads.”

That’s about to change, however. The Renault Twizy has now been certified for sale in Canada as a low-speed electric vehicle, and will be launched in Quebec next month.

It will be sold through Azra, which specializes in the installation of electric charging infrastructure.

Sir Stirling Moss in his Renault Twizy electric car, London, May 2015Sir Stirling Moss in his Renault Twizy electric car, London, May 2015

The company will provide more details on how it will sell the Twizy, along with pricing and other specifications, at an event to be held in Montreal on April 15.

Azra will live-stream the introduction event on its website that day.

According to Maya Vautier, Renault’s press officer for EVs and environment, “Renault wanted to find an innovative way & partner to sell [the Twizy] in Canada.”

That reflects the little electric car’s position as “a particular and different object, between a car and a moped,” she said.

Scoot Quad (nee Renault Twizy) tested in San Francisco, Oct 2015Scoot Quad (nee Renault Twizy) tested in San Francisco, Oct 2015

Renault departed from the North American market in 1987 when it sold the remains of the American Motors Corporation to Chrysler, which wanted AMC largely for its Jeep brand.

Its North American-built passenger cars, the subject of many consumer complaints over reliability, were briefly rebranded Eagle, but that brand was phased out after 1999.

The Twizy itself, as Vautier notes, is about halfway between a moped and an actual highway-capable electric car.

It doesn’t have fully bodywork—which will pose a challenge in Quebec winters—and is limited to a top speed of 25 miles per hour.

Renault Twizy in New York City. Photos: Renault Official on FlickrRenault Twizy in New York City. Photos: Renault Official on Flickr

But its quirky looks and distinctive design attracted much attention in San Francisco, where Green Car Reports tested a Scoot Quad (nee Renault Twizy) last fall.

It’s certainly a far more interesting vehicle than more utilitarian low-speed (or neighborhood) electric vehicles, whether they’re more utilitarian vehicles or modified golf carts.

What this portends for a revival of the Renault brand in North America, however, is anyone’s guess.

But if any region of North America is likely to be receptive to a Renault revival, it would be the heavily Francophone province of Quebec.

We’ll have more details on the Twizy launch when it takes place.

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways March 21, 2016 16:51