The UK government is finalizing the details of a new light-vehicle category that enables 16-year-olds to drive without a license. Renault is preparing to launch a 28mph-max Twizy 45 in the UK in 2013 to benefit from this new rule. According to Andy Heiron, the EV program chief at Renault UK, the new type-approval category would begin in January 2013.
It includes quadricycles that have a limited 28mph top speed and have a lower weight than 350kg unladen. Heiron said that before the new rule could be implemented, a basic practical and theory test has to be conducted and the issue of insurance has to be resolved too.
Heiron said that insurance companies have so far given estimates that drivers younger than 18 may have to pay premiums of as high as £4000 but this figure declines significantly with age. In the UK, the Twizy 45 will be priced at around £6200.
Renault didn’t make any predictions on the sales of its electric cars but Heiron made a confession that Nissan Leaf sales are indicative of a “fundamental problem” with electric car sales.
It accounts for 60% of the pure-electric market but this only translates to about 1,000 cars in the UK. Nissan has been considering the possibility of battery hire in order to lessen the purchase price.