Nissan is developing new urban EV like Renault Twizy

Article by Anita Panait, on July 4, 2013

Nissan is developing a new urban electric vehicle that is an improvement of the Twizy model of its alliance partner Renault, according to Etienne Henry, Nissan's head of product strategy and planning. Henry told Automotive News Europe that the new urban EV will merge the compactness and agility of a motorcycle with the protective covering of a conventional car.

Henry remarked that while the Twizy is also trying to combine these attributes, optimization are possible on Nissan's new urban EV. Renault targets the Twizy, which it rolled out in 2012, as a good option to scooters in crowded cities in Europe.

The Renault Twizy is powered by either of the two electric motor options -- a 4kW/5-hp version that returns a top speed of 45kph, which can be driven in most European countries without a driver's license; and a version that returns a top speed of 80kph. The Twizy boasts of maximum driving range of 100 km.

Nissan unveiled in 2008 the two-seat Land Glider concept that leaned on corners like a motorcycle but has four wheels and an enclosed cabin. Nissan said in a statement at the time that the concept should not be regarded as "a mere design study."

Henry described the concept as very interesting with very challenging and meaningful technology. He, however, did not say whether any feature of the Land Glider would be inserted in the new urban EV.

Henry remarked that the new EV would successfully combine the motorcycle and car genres in the same manger the Qashqai merged the strengths of a compact hatchback with the styling of a sports utility vehicle.

Being a model that is run solely by electricity, the Twizy was created from the ground up to provide for mobility in urban areas. No wonder Renault can safely say that there is nothing quite like it available on the market.

First unveiled as an innovative concept during the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the brand said customers can expect this model to be in Renault showrooms during the latter part of this month. With this model, Renault is not focusing on a specific demographic thus it can appeal to professionals, young people, men and women. If anything, the Twizy is for customers who want a unique model that also brings with it respectful fun.

That is, aside from being genuine, it is friendly to the environment and is economical. Renault revealed as well that it utilized its excellent expertise when it comes to vehicle safety, even if safety regulations for quadricycles are different from those for cars. Safety is better compared to a two-wheel vehicle or even a three-wheeled one as the agility in traffic becomes part of life.

This safety is also due to a number of other factors like various parking aids, a 3.4-meter turning circle, open architecture, thin windscreen pillars, and of course, panoramic visibility. This has resulted in the Twizy not only being a unique concept but one whose mobility is faster than that of a car. Indeed, this model may be quiet but it can still catch everyone’s attention.

Be it one person, or two, those living in the city can make full use of this urban mobility solution. This is because the Twizy has a number of advantages like having a low center of gravity as well as an ultra-compact footprint with width of 1.24 meters and 2.34 meters. The combination means that this model can go even in the smallest of gaps and can even park in the tiniest of spaces.

In terms of performance, this four-wheeler is indeed exceptional as it can go from a standstill to 45 km/h in 6 seconds. Performance-wise, this is the same as that of a 125-cc scooter going over a distance of about 50 meters. Under a standard trip, it can save a quarter of the time, and this already includes parking. Note that it does so without using any fuel.

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