The smallest of Renault’s all-electric car range, the tiny two-seat Renault Twizy sits somewhere between a small city car and a scooter. Like most cars, it has a steering wheel, pedals and four wheels. Unlike most cars, it has no heater and has about the same power output as a modest 125cc scooters. Doors and windows are also optional, and Renault even makes a limited-power version that can be legally driven in some European countries without a full drivers license and has a top speed of just 28 mph.
Due to its high sticker price, 50mph limited top speed and the challenges of living with a heaterless vehicle in certain European countries during winter months, the Renault Twizy hasn’t exactly been a big seller. But now Renault is testing out a new prototype six-wheeled Renault Twizy which could have the potential to change the way things are delivered in busy cities forever.
Enter the Renault Twizy Delivery Concept, a vehicle which Renualt first previewed back in December in an official press release debuting some of its ‘Future Mobility Ideas,’ including a new, more compact electric motor for its ZOE electric car, smaller turbocharged gasoline/LPG engine, a prototype two-stroke, two-cylinder turbocharged, supercharged diesel engine, and a mild-diesel hybrid system for commercial vehicles.
Last week (via Autobloggreen) Renault tweeted a picture of the Twizy Delivery Concept in use somewhere in France.
True to the concept outlined in December, the Renault Twizy Concept has a specially-modified short-cab big enough for just one person: the driver. Instead of a second seat behind the driver as in the regular production Twizy — or the small cargo-carrying space found in the single-seat Twizy Cargo — the Delivery concept features a flat pickup-style bed onto which a tiny two-wheeled trailer is hitched.
Combined, the rear pickup bed and trailer platform work together to carry a 1-meter square cargo box, perfect for delivering modest packages and supplies around town. Unlike traditional trailers, the link between the modified Twizy and the tiny trailer is rigid, turning the Twizy into a six-wheeled delivery vehicle where the middle axle provides motive power.
The concept, part of Renault’s Electric Vehicle for Sustainable Urban Logistics (VELUD) project, may never make it into production. To help the automaker make its final decision on production viability,Renault says the Delivery Concept will be used as part of a Paris-based pilot project providing delivery capabilities for the ‘final kilometre,’ going places where traditional delivery vehicles might not be able to fit.
Here at Transport Evolved, we had a two-seat Renault Twizy 80 on our fleet for around a year, and we can certainly vouch for the Twizy’s ability to fit into tiny spaces, its super-low running costs and direct, fun driving feel. We can even admit that when the temperature is sub-zero, it’s still possible to have a great deal of fun behind the wheel, provided you’re wrapped up of course.
With Renault Twizy sales last year failing to top 200 vehicles across Europe, we’re doubtful this particular concept car will make it into production — and that’s a shame, because we think it could be used for many different applications, ranging from the obvious duties with a florist or sandwich delivery service to life as a mobile coffee stand, or perhaps even a fully-fitted cantina.
Currently in Europe, those duties are traditionally carried out by the slow, unstable, and noisy Piaggio Ape three-wheeled commercial vehicle. Similar in size and power output, the Twizy is certainly more environmentally friendly.
Do you like the idea of a six-wheeled Twizy? Will it help revolutionise busy city centre delivery services? Or does the Twizy’s small battery pack, limited top-speed and three-hour recharge time cause too much of an operational headache for most commercial uses?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
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