There are two elements to this: speed and range. You shouldn’t expect a vast quantity of either, which is an indication of what Renault is trying to do with the Twizy; it’s an urban runabout like a G-Wiz or a Qpod rather than an alternative to the city cars against which it’s priced.
To that end, it tops out at a heady 50mph, and although the 8.4sec it takes to get even to 30mph (two up) seems an inordinate amount of time on paper, in reality the Twizy has no problem keeping up with urban traffic, especially with just one occupant on board. It’s just that you use more of the throttle travel than you would in a conventional car – more like a scooter, in fact.
It is one of the things that makes the Twizy good fun: driving everywhere at what it thinks is an enthusiastic speed but which none of the rest of the world does, with the elements fizzing past.
Drive it normally – not overly cautiously – and you’ll get a 43-mile range out of a Twizy. Be very gentle with the throttle and cruise to a stop rather than working the unassisted discs and you might get a few more miles, but its range in our hands was relatively consistent.
Only on the test track, with a lot of hard acceleration, did its range drop to 27 miles. For those who do the same short commute every day, or hop about in town, the Twizy will most likely be surprisingly usable. Its 3.5-hour flat-to-full charge from a domestic socket is also as good as it gets without an internal combustion engine.