First, a note for our readers in the United States. When reading evaluations of European fully electric automobiles written by Europeans, many American readers are unaware of the significant distinction between European and American internal combustion engines (ICE).
The majority of drivers in Europe, particularly those from smaller cars, only have manual transmission knowledge. That is a significant change when moving from a manual to an automatic transmission. It is a completely different feeling to switch from manual transmission to super-smooth, no-transmission electric driving. Perhaps for this reason, European drivers find the benefits of electric driving to be far greater and more alluring than their American counterparts.
THE BORN OF THE BEV The 2014 Twingo III is available in a fully electric form as the Renault Twingo ZE. In a partnership with Daimler, the platform for this car was created with the potential for an electric drivetrain. As soon as the market was prepared, the ZE version was promised to be released. The completely electric model wasn’t available until February 2020, just in time for the coronavirus outbreak. The Smart ForFour’s platform was created by Daimler. Three years earlier, in 2018, the business electrified its compact four-seater vehicle. The Twingo ZE is based on a dual-powertrain basis rather than being a conversion from a pure gas vehicle.
SPECIFICATIONS To view the full specifications, go to EV-database or Renault dealer webpage (in Dutch; as far as I know, the Twingo is not offered in an English-speaking nation). It contains a 23 kWh battery with a 21.3 kWh useable capacity. It is a high-nickel LG Chem battery, perhaps an NMC712 model. It is only capable of 22 kW of charging from an AC source. For a battery of this size, that is a respectable speed. Although the motor’s maximum output is 60 kW/160 Nm, its greatest speed is limited to 135 km/h. Depending on the season and kind of driving, the distance can range from 90 km on the highway in the cold to 205 km in the city in the summer. 190 kilometers in total, according to WLTP (mandated range lie for comparisons).
DRIVING SYSTEM It has rear-wheel drive, in contrast to the majority of vehicles in its class. Although it compromises most of the trunk space, this arrangement is ideal for driving in a dynamic manner. There isn’t much room left for bags or food. How can I comment on the driving? My prior experience with electric driving has spoiled me. However, the majority of Europeans acclimated to front-wheel drive, 5-speed manual transmission cars are unaware of what would happen to them when they drive an electric car for the first time. Personally, I find driving with front wheels to be easier. However, a short car with rear-wheel electric propulsion is exciting to drive in cities. When there is additional traffic, it can not be as enjoyable for other drivers.
What do you receive when you purchase this tiny, excellent driving vehicle? Excellent as a second vehicle, or perhaps the only vehicle for a family that commutes by train and airplane. The inside of the Twingo ZE is more opulent than that of the Dacia Spring, its relative. Additionally, it has a warm color scheme that makes it more inviting. The chairs are comfortable, and heating is an option. There is space for my swollen body in the driver’s seat, the passenger seat, and the back seats. Even getting in and out of the driver’s seat is not too difficult for me.
AMUSEMENT SYSTEMS AND DRIVING ASSIST
It has the same infotainment system as my Zo. I’ve only figured out a fraction of it. It is intended for the younger generation, who are more accustomed to smartphones and related technology. The route planner performs almost as well as a TomTom. I was dissatisfied with Android Auto’s performance when I was made to utilize it a few months ago. Apple and Android alternatives can be connected to the primary display, but that won’t make things better. The instructions says you can use apps like WhatsApp in conjunction with your phone or a photo viewer, but don’t expect movies or games.
Regarding using a touchscreen as opposed to actual knobs and switches: My driving was not much safer as a result. Fortunately, touch still provides blind access to all of the most crucial controls. Similar to the Zo and the Twingo before it, the cruise control is static; to change the speed, use your thumbs. With this method, I’ve probably driven more than 100,000 miles (or 150,000 kilometers), and it’s been flawless. No, I don’t require adaptive cruise control.
USABILITY The weekly groceries for his family are a load that does not fit in the Twingo ZE, not even with the backseats folded down, when I see my brother coming home from the supermarket. The Twingo is suitable for everyday shopping, but not for a family of four’s weekly shopping trip. Although decent, the internal storage areas in the doors, console, and glove box do not compare to those of the Dacia Spring. A young mother who uses the Twingo as her daily vehicle informed me that a baby seat and the baby’s stroller will fit in someway, but for a weekend trip with the baby and partner, a much larger car is necessary. Okay, in that circumstance, I purchased an 8-seat MPV.
The Twingo ZE has two drawbacks: a limited operating range and no DC charging. These design choices are utterly beyond my comprehension. This is not for adventurous folks or households with only one vehicle. Renault could easily add DC fast charging and quadruple the range without significantly raising the price.
Overall, if you enjoy driving a fun, compact, and maneuverable car, put it at the top of your short list. This automobile won’t let you down.
We appreciate Kempenaar-Renault in Alphen aan den Rijn for providing the vehicle.
Like the uniqueness and cleantech news coverage of CleanTechnica? Think about becoming an Patreon patron or a member, supporter, technician, or ambassador for CleanTechnica. Don’t miss a cleantech story, will ya? Register for daily news updates from CleanTechnica by email. Or follow us on Google News Want to advertise with CleanTechnica, send us a tip, or propose a speaker for our podcast CleanTech Talk? You can reach us here.