LTA says ‘no’ to Twizy

SINGAPORE — It has four wheels and a steering wheel, but the electric Renault Twizy is not fit for public roads. That is the assessment from the Land Transport Authority, CarBuyer has learnt.

The LTA has not informed Renault dealer Wearnes Automotive that the vehicle does not meet local standard, but the conclusions already seem certain. 

Wearnes had requested for the Twizy to be classified as a motorcycle. That would have allowed it to be priced at around $25,000 here. It would also likely have caused motorcycle COEs to go up in price.

On the other hand, registering it as a car would have bumped its price up to more than $80,000, inclusive of taxes and a Category A COE.

Wearnes had argued that at motorcycle prices, the two-seater Twizy could fill a mobility gap between public and private transport. As a car, it would have been a “rich man’s toy” used only on private property, in the words of Victor Kwan, the managing director of Wearnes’ Renault operations.

But in evaluating the Twizy, the LTA has invoked the Road Traffic Act, which states that a motorcycle is a vehicle with less than four wheels and an unladen weight which does not exceed 400kg.

The 450kg Twizy fails both criteria.

At the same time, the Twizy’s classification as a “quadricycle” in France exempts it from safety standards that cars have to meet.

But that also means it doesn’t meet the necessary safety requirements to be registered as a car here, says the LTA.

It now looks unlikely that the Twizy will be sold here, unless there is enough interest from buyers who own private property large enough to accommodate one.

The Twizy is now, officially, a rich man’s toy.

MORE: Five myths about the COE system

Why COE prices may fall after June 


about the author

Leow Ju-Len