The Renault Twizy first saw the light of day at Frankfurt in 2009 as the Twizy ZE concept.

Among that motor show’s smash hits, it effortlessly stole the limelight from Renault’s original Zoe concept. Enclosed wheels and a state-of-the-art headlamp arrangement were the only features not to make the finished article. 

Renault can claim no intellectual ownership of the EV microcar concept; energy-efficient personal mobility machines have made regular appearances at shows for more than a decade. 

After what seems like the longest of long infancies, the market for electric cars is beginning to mature. Nissan’s Leaf, the 2011 Car of the Year, continues to blaze its uncompromising trail across Europe and the wider world. 

Meanwhile, in the shape of the recently introduced Chevrolet Volt and Vauxhall Ampera twins, you could say that Britain has its first truly usable family EVs.

The Twizy needs no government incentive to earn a place among Britain’s most affordable EVs. Part-car, part-scooter, and entirely zero emissions (at the tailpipe), it’s exactly the kind of machine that, future gazers claim, will populate our burgeoning cities in years to come.

But what about here and now?

Top 5 City cars

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  • Hyundai i10
    The Hyundai i10 is offered with either a 1.0-litre petrol engine or a 1.2-litre petrol engine

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  • The Celerio is an all-new city car from Suzuki

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  • Panda’s 4 star EuroNCAP crash score falls short of some rivals

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  • Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE is priced from £7995

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