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Hotel gets its first Twizy rental minicar

All electric minicars could be available for rent at the Hamilton Princess from as early as the weekend.

The news came as Current Vehicles handed over the first of 25 two-seater Renault Twizys to the hotel.

“It's about giving our visitors what they want — the chance to explore Bermuda on their own, meet locals and experience our way of life,” said Piers Carr, chief executive officer of Current Vehicles.

He quit a job as a broker in the reinsurance industry to launch Current Vehicles.

“I saw a great opportunity to help our visitors get around the island and we're very much behind pushing any electric vehicle we can because it's a necessity for Bermuda going forward.”

Now the vehicles will be introduced at the Hamilton Princess before going to smaller hotels, guesthouses and Airbnb properties across the island.

The Hamilton Princess will have 25 of the vehicles, expected to rent at around $79 per day, compared to about $66 for a livery cycle, and Mr Carr said another 25 were en route to Bermuda.

Mr Carr said: “Having spent enough time here, you see the demand for something a little safer — scooters are not for everyone.

“The Twizy keeps you dry, it's electric and it's just safer. It's about improving safety. We can brand them and it will be beneficial to Bermuda — people will take pictures of them and upload them to social media and that's a great way of getting our name out there as well as Bermuda's.”

Mr Carr said the booking process can be carried out online, with confirmation including safety information, Bermuda rules of the road, parking regulations and how to charge the vehicles and operate them safely.

“Before tourists even land here they are initiated in the best ways of using our roads.”

Mr Carr added: “We have had a great response from the public looking to rent these vehicles, but this is strictly a tourism initiative.”

He added the Twizy, launched in 2012 and a bestseller in Europe, had “a great track record.”

Mr Carr said: “It's used by the police service in some countries — it's reliable. The fire department have a few in Dubai.”

One is now on display in the lobby at the Hamilton Princess.

Allan Federer, general manager of the hotel, said: “Many of us in the hospitality industry, as well as many tourists to the island, have been waiting for this moment for a long time.

“The launch of this new service marks a new era in transportation for tourists.

“I would even go as far as to say that the launch of Twizy will be a game changer for tourism. It is incredibly important that we introduce these to meet the demands of our guests.

“Having these four wheel vehicles available will increase interest not only in the hotel, but across Bermuda as a whole.”

He added: “This new service coincides with continued efforts to offer a world class tourist experience in Bermuda.

“As one of the last tourist destinations to introduce a rental car option, this positions Bermuda well to continue to answer the needs of today's travellers.”

Chargers and special parking places will be available in the parking area at the Princess, with recharges included in the rental price.

Twizys recharge in three hours and have a range of more than 80km, making all parts of the island accessible on a single charge.

The car, designed by Renault's Formula 1 team, has seatbelts, a driver airbag, side impact protection bars and a special tubular chassis for rigidity.

The vehicles are expected to be cleared for road use within the next few days.

It's electric: the new Renault Twizy, to be offered for rent to tourists at the Hamilton Princess. Pictured, from left, are Pat Phillip-Fairn and Kevin Dallas of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, John Paul Doughty and Piers Carr of Current Vehicles and hotel general manager Allan Federer (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published May 03, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 02, 2017 at 9:22 pm)

Hotel gets its first Twizy rental minicar

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