Visitors and locals alike have been fascinated by a row of space-age-looking wee cars standing to attention at the entrance to the car park by the harbour of Los Cristianos recently. Remember the Jetsons? Well, they don’t actually take off, but look almost ready to with their doors, which open upwards à la Delorean, looking like wings.
These, people, are the Twizys, electric cars made by Renault but offered for rental here on Tenerife by eCarsrentacar.com, a new and novel way to get around on vacation. The business has been up and running for some weeks now in island capital, Santa Cruz, where their office is nicely placed close to the ferry terminal and for cruise ship arrivals. It’s proved very popular in the capital, not only with visitors but with residents looking for a fun way to spend a day over the weekend.
Fully charged they have a range of around 80 km which obviously limits your adventure but pressure is being put on the island to provide more charging points, for these, and other environmentally friendly vehicles. A putter along to lunch in Playa San Juan, for instance is around 23 km, or to watch the wind surfers in El Médano just over 21 km, which leaves some juice for sightseeing around the area too. El Médano, Costa del Silencio, Las Galletas, Palm Mar and Golf del Sur can all be accessed without going on the autopista if you have reservations about taking a small, fairly slow (80km per hour max, slower on steep hills) car on such a busy route.
The cars hired out in Santa Cruz come with GPS and a tablet pre-programmed in several languages with 100 routes to choose from within that 80km range. That technology hasn’t reached the south yet, but is on its way. As are charging points in the harbour car park, right now the cars have to be taken to the company’s workshop nearby. To be honest, I hadn’t given much thought to how the cars charge, although I’d seen the charging stations on neighbouring island, La Gomera, and I was surprised to see that the plug was much the same as the one on my computer. I had expected something much bigger. It tucks neatly away into a compartment in the front of the car.
Compact though they are, Twizys have seat belts and air bags. They obviously have the advantage of being easy to park if you want to explore a city like Santa Cruz or La Laguna.
There will soon be a rental office alongside the fish stalls between the car park and the main beach, but for now the very friendly Javier can be found most days tirelessly answering the dozens of questions about the cars fired at him. He tries his best in English, but there is already an English speaking employee lined up to take over imminently.
The cars fit two people, one behind the other, though, if I am honest, I would say you need to be pretty slim and nimble to ride on the back seat. That said, they look like tremendous fun, and I am really looking forward to taking a trip in one very soon!
To book, call to see Javier, into the office near the ferry terminal in Santa Cruz or online. Rates are from €15.30 for one hour, but the hourly rate decreases if you book more time. A full day costs €90.
Category : things to do
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