Twizy on the tourist trail in Wales; first Tesla Model S delivered
June 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
The British tourism industry appears to be taking to the Renault Twizy, for all it lacks doors to protect its occupants from the rain. “We are supplying six to the Eco Travel Network for tourists in the Brecon Beacons National Park”, says Andy Heiron, Renault UK’s Head of Electric Vehicle Programme. Renault has already sold 135 Twizys since the mid-April launch, many – against expectations – going to businesses. “Twizy has been a surprise as we envisaged it as an almost exclusively (private) retail product”, Heiron explained, “and yet we have a two-month waiting list for fleet demonstrators. We have a large order for Twizy in London where they will be used as a mobile wi-fi platform by TfL. Most customers are looking to capitalise on Twizy’s striking looks as a marketing tool around cities.”
In Wales, the Eco Travel Network began two years ago with a pair of buggies built by Dragon Electric Vehicles of Crickhowell. The ‘b-bugs’ (named Boris and Blodwyn) have been trialled by visitors to the Brecon Beacons, and an informal network of recharging points has been established: free-to-use facilities at cafes, pubs, activity centres and suchlike in the area, some using locally-generated electricity from a micro-hydro system. The Network has now been established as a not-for-profit company leasing vehicles to local businesses, and whilst Boris and Blodwyn have been ‘retired’ for the moment in favour of the Twizys, b-bugs may supplement the numbers again in the future.
The first Twizy on the fleet is making an appearance at the Hay Festival this week as part of the launch of the Community Energy Wales initiative, and it is being used by the festival organisers, who have also been providing free EV charging to festival-goers and participants. It has, by the way, been called Thierry, and he and his friends will be available for rental from July 1st. Check out www.ecotravelnetwork.co.uk for more details.
- In other news today: The first Tesla Model S saloon off the production line has been delivered to its new owner: venture capitalist and Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson. That’s what investment in a company gets you… oh, and a number plate reading TSLA S1, according to Green Car Reports.First deliveries to other customers start June 22nd, and Tesla is promising news, new video and “a few surprises” at its blog, in the run-up. Latest news on the Model S: the power steering is adjustable, with ‘comfort’, ‘sport’ and standard settings, and the regenerative braking and air suspension can also be configured to driver preferences. Nice video of the production-line robots assembling an S, too.