Australia gets busy with Renault Twizy
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Though it's a huge success in large European cities, the little Renault Twizy is trying to change the way Australians drive - except there's a slight problem in what to call it.
The zero-emissions electric vehicle is classed as a quadricycle in Europe, but because there is no suitable categorisation in Australia, Twizy is required to conform to passenger vehicle standards.
That means the Twizy has to meet the same criteria as a Renault Koleos, despite doing the same job as an electric scooter - carrying two people around the city.
Renault Australia has imported its first Twizy to demonstrate its vast capability and endearing attributes to a wide audience.
Twizy is the third Renault zero-emission vehicle in Australia after the Fluence ZE sedan, and the Kangoo ZE light van.
"Twizy has to be seen to be believed and driven to be understood, which is why we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first example," said Justin Hocevar, Renault Australia's managing director.
"Renault is a global leader in Zero Emission vehicles. Twizy offers a unique, imaginative and exciting view of future personal mobility, one that would fit very well into our increasingly congested cityscapes.
"It is possible to fit three Twizys into a standard car park and in addition Twizy can be charged overnight from a standard household socket."
Hocevar reckoned that for commuters travelling short distances each day, the Twizy could be the ideal solution.
Renault's two-seater Twizy is classed as a quadricycle in Europe, but because there is no suitable categorisation in Australia it needs to conform to passenger vehicle standards.
"Twizy has been an incredible success in Europe, where it has been on sale for around two years," he said.
"We are hoping that by exposing some opinion lawmakers, and relevant road authorities to Twizy, we will gain a greater understanding of the concept and what it could deliver for Australia drivers.
"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."
Renault NZ's general manager, Chris Blair, told Driven that it did not plan to have the Twizy "as a part of our 2015 model line-up but we keeping it a consideration for the future".