IBIZA, Spain -- Renault expects its quirky Twizy electric vehicle will be a popular alternative to scooters in Europe's crowded cities.
"We expect the Twizy to generate high-volume sales with full-scale industrial production like our other mainstream cars do," Yvan Capelle, a Renault product manager, said at a press event here.
The Twizy has four wheels but a narrow body where the passenger sits behind the driver. The slim bodystyle means the Twizy will attract buyers in Europe's crowded and traffic-choked big cities where it will be a safer alternative to scooters and motorcycles, Renault believes.
"Our studies show that scooters are the only viable alternative to public transport when traveling to and from several destinations in a city," Capelle said.
The Twizy is easier to maneuver through traffic and easier to park compared with cars. It has safety features found in cars such as a front airbag and seat belts.
The Twizy has a performance similar to that of a 125cc scooter and is powered by a choice of two electric motors, a 4kW/5-hp version with its top speed capped at 45kph that can be driven in most countries in Europe without a driver's license and a version with a top speed of 80kph. It costs from 6,990 euros with battery rental costing from 50 euros a month.
The Twizy can be charged with standard European electrical outlets in 3.5 hours for a maximum driving range of 100 km.
Twizy's sales should be "well over 10,000 units a year," a Renault spokesman told Automotive News Europe without disclosing exact targets, and production could "easily ramp up production capacity to over 50,000 units a year."