Renault Twizy
Renault Twizy

This week's Fully Charged is brought to you from behind the wheel of the Renault Twizy, an electric car with a difference.

The Twizy is an extremely small, light-weight electric vehicle which presenter, Robert Llewellyn, compares to a Go-Cart in terms of its speed, stability and road handling.

There has been a conspiracy theory about the way oil companies try to undermine the development of electric vehicles. They invented the G-Wizz, which was a one of the most poorly received electric cars ever produced. It did more to damage the image of electric vehicles than anything the chaps on Top Gear could ever hope to achieve.

So when the first images of the Renault Twizy were released Robert was concerned. As Robert puts the car through its paces around the roads of Ibiza, he describes it as 'rather a lot of fun' and 'genuinely disruptive technology'.

For a start, the Twizy is not a car, it's not pretending to be a car, it's something completely new and it's very hard to put it in an easily defined box.

It's a 4 wheeled thing that you can move around in. It's almost a motorbike and if you drive one in the UK, you need to think about what you wear. Its suitability for the British climate, however, is another matter given that the Twizy has no windows, leaving the sides of the car completely open. If you were driving in heavy rain some parts of you will get wet, if it's really cold, you'd need to be wrapped up in winter bike gear.

Apart from that, they are incredibly easy to drive, incredibly efficient, not that expensive to buy, (starting price around £4,500) and incredibly cheap to run. They charge up from any 13 amp outlet and it takes about an hour if it's empty. That'll cost you about 20p and you can drive for 40 miles.

Though it is not a replacement for the big, heavy, thirsty vehicles we are all used to, it's something different and against all expectations it's a very popular little thing.

When I've driven around London in one, instead of people looking on me with pity as they did when I was cramped inside a G-Wizz, they pointed and smiled, they waved and laughed.

The Twizy is harmless fun, but mainly fun.

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