Renault Twizy EV goes firefighting
The Twizy fire prototype will be tested in and around Paris
When Renault showed the two-seat Twizy electric city car at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, we never expected to see it haul firefighters – meter maids, maybe, but not firefighters. The vehicle is about as far from a fire truck as you can get while still discussing motorized vehicles. That hasn't stopped the French company from outfitting its diminutive electric car for the purpose of firefighting.
Renault and its vehicle conversion subsidiary Renault Tech worked closely with the Paris firefighter brigade to create this response-ready prototype. Envisioned as a complement to, not a replacement for, more traditional fire trucks, the prototype is designed as an early response vehicle, with the anticipation that actual fire trucks with water, hoses and gear will be close behind. For that purpose, Renault ripped out the rear seat and replaced it with a storage trunk to house emergency response equipment including two fire extinguishers, two oxygen tanks, a fire suit and helmet, and a first aid kit.
From next month, Paris firefighters will begin an eight-month test of the Twizy prototype before a decision is made about a more permanent fleet of light electric vehicles.
About the Author
Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
All articles by C.C. Weiss
So you paint it red, put a blue light on top and you have a firefighting unit?
Do I miss something?
It can not possibly be enough faster than a real firetruck to make putting one fireman on the scene cost effective. More lives and property would be saved spending the money elsewhere. But hay jobs will be saved at Renault.
Nope, but by ripping "out the rear seat and replaced it with a storage trunk to house emergency response equipment including two fire extinguishers, two oxygen tanks, a fire suit and helmet, and a first aid kit." makes the Twizzy a Firefighter combat machine.
I can see this being helpful in some cases in crowded cities with small roads. Ultimately it makes for good publicity
This might not be practical in the US where most streets are wide enough for big fire trucks to maneuver, but given the narrower streets in Europe I would imagine a small vehicle like this would let a few firefighters with some basic supplies get to the scene earlier than the big truck. I can remember having to move out of the way of a fire truck on one of the narrow streets in the French Quarter in New Orleans, and it was barely able to squeeze past all the cars.
Cripes. I just realized this is beginning to remind of the specialized 4CV Renaults from the postwar era.
I remember one tuned to do 120mph and came with internal mounts for a couple of submachine guns.
I agree with Forward Thinker- this is fine as a 'first response' vehicle in crowded European cities. Especially for small fires such as minor electrical fires or domestic 'chip pan' fires in which very little actual firefighting is required, and it would be wasteful to deploy a full sized fire truck. Quite often the fire service in the uk has to be called out even if the fire has actually been extinguished just to verify for procedural reasons.
This might be pratical in gated comunitys or other controled entry areas and college campuses.
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