Our “Butch” R&D project has delivered. The first ever ‘Rural Twizy’ arrived this week. Red Castle Classics in Caerphilly has done a great job modifying one of our Twizys and we are now busy testing out “the Rural” before he disappears to Hay Festival to be on show for 10 days at the end of the month.
The motivation for the Butch project was to see if we could prototype a ruggedised version of the Twizy which would carry more luggage and cope better with some of our bumpy rural roads and tracks. The funding for the project came from the Green Transport Prize which we won in Edinburgh last May.
The Rural Twizy has two luggage racks with strengtheners to spread the load and uprights which enable the Twizy to carry two bikes. We’ve been experimenting with bikes, large overnight bags, picnic hampers and large plastic boxes and so far all has gone well. We’ve also been searching out some of the bumpy bits of road and track that we previously avoided or drove very gingerly in the regular Twizy! All has gone well so far. We haven’t yet tested much on range but early indications suggest the Rural may lose 10-15% on its range – mainly (we think) due to the larger, softer tyres and suspension. As we mostly use the Twizys as local runabouts, plugged in to charge whenever you are back home, this is not a big disadvantage. We haven’t yet tested with the added weight of a lot of luggage (or bikes).
We are not yet sure if and when we will add the Rural to our hire fleet but anyone visiting the area is welcome to get in touch and come and have a look. We will certainly be using the Rural in anger and testing its capabilities both here in the Brecon Beacons and on some UK islands.