Renault's eye-catching Twizy electric two-seater is now on sale in the UK, priced from £6,690.
If you are wondering how Renault can sell an electric anything for that price, when the Nissan Leaf is £26K, the answer is that buyers also have to lease the batteries for £45 per month over three years.
The wacky two seat Twizy (or one seat plus a 50 litre shopping bag) is certainly the most distinctive way of getting around town: even a pink Ferrari is unlikely to get as much attention. However, the Twizy would struggle to keep up with a Ferrari: the top speed is 50 mph, thanks to a 17 bhp electric motor giving a range of 60 miles.
The good news is that Renault has transferred its safety technology to the Twizy. It features a driver's airbag, a three-point seatbelt and with additional strap for the driver, and a three-point safety belt at the rear. There is a deformable structure, while the outboard position of the four wheels and the lateral beams located either side of the chassis provide protection on either side.
Renault has also confirmed that it is actively considering bringing a lower powered version, (5 bhp/28 mph) to the UK from January 2013. The Twizy 45 (from its 45 km/h top speed) was not originally planned for the UK, but, recent confirmation that a new category of European licence – AM – for 16 year olds and over will apply in the UK., means it is worth considering. That really would be the ultimate present for any indulged 16 year old.