Small Car, Big Screen: How Renault’s Twizy Electric Car Is About To Become Famous

Hollywood loves electric cars. We’re not just talking its stars either: electric cars have become a mainstay feature of any self-respecting flick set in the future. The more futuristic and less conventional the electric car looks, the more chance it has of featuring in a film.

The Renault Twizy, in less dystopian surroundings

The Renault Twizy, in less dystopian surroundings

It goes without saying then that Renault’s tiny two-seat Twizy electric car — sold in Europe as the ultimate commuter alternative to a two-wheeled scooter — would one day inevitably be a star of the big screen.  Less than two years after it first went on sale, that’s happened.

Enter The Zero Theorem, Terry Gilliam’s latest feature film. Starring Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Thierry, Matt Damon, and Sanjeev Bhaskar among other, this dystopian vision of the future contains everything fans of the genre will love. There’s a reclusive, reluctant pragmatist with more phobias than we’d care to list. There’s an inevitable drive towards the film’s Matrix-like conclusion.

And the streets are full of two-seat Renault Twizys.

Twizys everywhere

“We’re using the Twizy as the predominant picture vehicle in the movie,” said the film’s producer Patrick Newall.  “It’s the car that you’ll see driving in the streets in all of the scenes. It’s the car that in all of the exterior scenes will be on the street.”

While other vehicles like motorcycles, the occasional bus and GEM neighborhood electric vehicle are seen throughout the movie, Renault’s two-seat runabout gets the starring role.  Electric vehicles outnumber everything else.

In this vision of the future, Renault Twizy electric cars are the predominant form of transport.

In this vision of the future, Renault Twizy electric cars are the predominant form of transport.

What’s more, Newall and other members of the cast and crew appear to have had some fun driving the Twizys off-screen too.

“Yes, I did try it,” said Newall. “I loved driving the Twizy. It was a lot of fun! It has a lot of power, it handles very well, it’s low to the ground and surprisingly has a lot of pickup for a little car.”

Good for California?

Although the majority of The Zero Theorem appears to have been filmed in Romania and London, Newall says the Twizy’s small size and fun driving style would make it ideal for life in California.

“I live in Santa Monica in California, and i think this would be a perfect car for there,” he continued.  “It doesn’t have any windows and it’s a warm weather car in that regard. I really enjoyed driving it.”

There’s no doubt that the Twizy is small enough to wind its way through heavy traffic and has what it takes to dramatically reduce the air pollution woes in places like Hollywood. Believe it or not, there are even a few privately-owned Twizys in the U.S.

But with the market for two-seat electric city cars still representing representing a tiny proportion of what is still a small yet growing plug-in car market, we suspect there’s little point getting excited that the tiny French car will make its way to the U.S. any time soon.

See the film, list your favourites

If you want to see The Zero Theorem and its copious Twizys you’ll be pleased to hear it has just gone on general release in the UK, with cinema releases across Europe throughout this spring and summer.

U.S. audiences will have to wait until summer to see it at the theatre.

In the meantime though, it’s got us thinking: how many films can you think of with electric cars in them?

Leave your favourites in the comments below.


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