Given its compact size, the Renault Twingo was destined to one day become an electric vehicle (EV). But 28 years ago, when it was introduced, EV technology was still not advanced and didn’t offer the efficiency and performance that would attract consumers, apart from the fact that the technology was expensive.
After three generations and almost 4 million cars sold in 25 countries, the Twingo now goes fully electric with its latest version – the Twingo Z.E. which will be launched at the Geneva Motorshow next month.
Seventh EV developed by Renault
This is the seventh all-electric vehicle developed by Renault, joining the ZOE, Twizy quadricycle, Kangoo Z.E., Master Z.E., as well as the RSM SM3 Z.E. saloon (sold in South Korea), and the City K-ZE small SUV (sold in China).
Continuing with the 3.61-metre long model’s fun design, attractive personality and exclusive customisation possibilities, the addition of an electric powertrain offers personal mobility with zero emissions. Its electric rear-wheel drive and different driving modes make it fun and enjoyable to drive.
The Twingo Z.E., which weighs 1,112 kgs, has a 60-kW powertrain which generates maximum torque of 160 Nm. This enables a claimed top speed of 135 km/h (0 to 100 km/h in 12.6 seconds) which is sufficient for motorway driving.
A ‘B mode’ gives drivers a choice of three levels for the regenerative braking function as soon as they release the accelerator pedal. In the most advanced configuration, the car decelerates significantly, which quickly regenerates the battery, reduces the need for braking and makes city driving easier. Thermal management is provided by a water-cooling system, a first in the Renault Z.E. range.
Up to 215 kms range
Sitting on a platform engineered for EVs, the 22 kWh battery packs has the latest-generation lithium-ion cells developed in partnership with LG Chem. Depending on the cycle used, the range can be from 180 kms to 250 kms, and Renault believes that this means an owner can have a week of city driving without recharging.
An ‘Eco’ mode, activated by pushing a button on the centre console, extends operating range to around 215 kms on mixed journeys by limiting acceleration and top speed on motorways.
Flexible charging system
With its smart Cameloon charger (patented by Renault), the Twingo Z.E. can be charged at home, at work or using the AC power infrastructure up to 22 kW. The technology enables it to adapt to the power available at each charging station and make full use of existing facilities, especially in cities. As a result, Twingo Z.E. benefits from optimum charging time whatever the charging station.
It is claimed to recharge up to 4 times faster than its competitors at stations most commonly found in public areas. Connection to a 22-kW charging station for just thirty minutes increases operating range by around 80 kms. However, from a home 2.3-kW outlet, a fully empty battery back would take at least 13.5 hours to ‘refill’ to 100%.
Compact but spacious within
Roomy and functional as ever, the passenger compartment retains all the customisation options offered on the range with the Z.E. logo identifying the all-electric aspect of Twingo Z.E. The 7-inch colour touchscreen, unique in the segment, offers access to Twingo’s new connectivity features.
With 5 doors, a flat floor and a fully foldable passenger seat, the Twingo Z.E. provides a 2.31-metre loading length. With optimised placement of the battery pack, the size of the boot, closed by a handled tailgate, also remains the same.
With the EASY LINK onboard system, charging time can be scheduled in order to take advantage of off-peak hours. Once on the road, the system displays the car’s range on a map in real time, adds the nearest charging stations on request and updates their availability in real time.
Outside the car, drivers can check the battery level during charging from their MY Renault app and remotely control air conditioning and heating to adjust the temperature of the passenger compartment during charging, without affecting the vehicle’s range. Drivers can also use the EV Route Planner feature to simulate a planned route and identify the necessary charging stations on the way.