Electric Vehicles

Life with Renault Twizy: electric bopping around Bermuda

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I well remember the first time I saw a Renault Twizy.

Wandering along the Champs Elysees in Paris in the spring of 2012, I happened upon a Renault showroom hosting an electric car extravaganza.

Amid flashing lights, blasting techno music, and vamping supermodels sat a couple of Renault Zoes, the then-new electric subcompact. 

DON’T MISS: Is An Electric Scoot Quad (nee Renault Twizy) Car-Sharing’s Urban Future?

But my eye was soon perted to the back of the showroom, to what appeared to be a giant egg-on-a-skateboard. Call it a microcar, a quadracycle, a glorified golf cart, whatever—the Twizy instantly captivated me. 

This was no dorky NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle), that mainstay of Florida retirement communities.  With its sculpted body, Formula-One-style open wheels, and Lamborghini-style swing-up doors,  it actually looked cool.

A promotional video showed a bevy of impossibly hip and beautiful young couples in Twizzies  zooming through Paris from one after-hours party to the next.

And more to the point,  the Twizy’s performance specs looked surprisingly good: a top speed of 80 km/hr (50 mph) and a max electric range of 100 km (about 60 miles.)

It looked like it would be an absolute blast to drive.

Unfortunately, there was no chance to drive one that night, and it has never been sold in the U.S. So for me, a spin in a Twizy remained a fantasy. Until last week.

READ THIS: Renault Twizy low-speed electric car comes to Canada (Mar 2016)

Bermuda  connection

Bermuda seemed like a good place for a 30th anniversary long-weekend getaway for my wife Lisa and me.

But I was surprised to learn that it’s impossible to rent a car there. (The roads are too small and crowded.)

And no way  was I going to rent one of the ubiquitous scooters that tourists often use in Bermuda. (Almost got killed on a Vespa in Germany many years ago.)

Renault Twizy rented in Bermuda, October 2017 [photo: David Noland]

Renault Twizy rented in Bermuda, October 2017 [photo: David Noland]

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Not to worry, our AirBnB host assured us over the phone: The bus service in Bermuda is excellent.

Oh, and there’s this new little electric thingamabob that’ s been made available to tourists here recently, called the Twizzle or something.

My heart leaped.

CHECK OUT: Renault Twizy: How Tiny Electric City Car Is Built–By Hand (Video) (Jan 2013)

The Current Vehicles rent-a-Twizy operation is located at the Hamilton Princess Hotel in downtown Hamilton. We arrived to find a section of the parking lot occupied by a couple of dozen of the terminally cute little bugs. 

The rental rate was $99 a day, plus a mandatory $30 fee for insurance. This seemed ridiculously high, considering that I had recently rented a full-sized real car in California for $99 a week.

On the other hand, a dinky little scooter typically rents for $50-$80 per day in Bermuda.

Renault Twizy rented in Bermuda, October 2017 [photo: David Noland]

Renault Twizy rented in Bermuda, October 2017 [photo: David Noland]

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Rip-off or bargain? Hard to say. In any case, we signed on the dotted line for three days, with an assurance we could bring it back a day early, no problem.

Cramped Rear Quarters

Loading two people into the tandem-seat  Twizy is quite an operation. 

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