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Sunday, October 18, 2015

You Can Now Rent the Oddball Renault Twizy in San Fransisco



The French have given the world many great things. Croissants, Daft Punk and the seeds of our American political system all come to mind. Now there is a car arriving on our shores for the first time that might not be as great as those French exports, but is sure to turn a few heads.

In France, it is called the Renault Twizy, but in America it is being called the “New Mobility Concept.” Sure, that’s a pretty unimaginative and sterile name, but what is being offered is a fascinating electric car and a unique business model for getting behind the wheel of one.

First, the car—the Twizy features a 6.1 kWh lithium-ion battery and the electric output is 60 horsepower. The car will top out at 50 mph, has a 62-mile cruising range and will charge back up in approximately four hours. It weighs in at only 1,045 pounds, and as you might expect, only holds two occupants.

According to Wired, if you want to drive one of these in the ‘States, you’ll have to be in San Fransisco and rent it through Scott Networks, an electric scooter sharing company. The monthly fee is $19, and then use the app to find an unoccupied Twizy in the city. It costs $8 per mile to rent, while the electric scooters are just $2 per mile. Scoot has 360 electric motorcycles, and will be adding 10 Twizys to its all-electric fleet.

Because the bikes only top out at 30 mph, you don’t need a motorcycle license. In France, the Twizy’s weight and top speed limitations means regulators let teens as young as 14 drive it on open roads (provided they have their road safety certificate). Certainly a reason for American teens to be jealous of their French counterparts!