Nissan Looks To Brings Europe’s Best Selling EV To Japan. US Next? (Video)

5 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 9

Nissan New Mobility Concept Now Testing In Yokohama, Japan

Do you know what the best selling electric car is in Europe?  Its not the Opel Ampera, Chevrolet Volt, or Nissan LEAF.

The Nissan New Mobility Concept's Parent Renault Twizy

It is the Renault Twizy, an incredibly small 2 seat fully electric vehicle that, in many places in Europe, you do not even need a license to drive.  Last month Renault sold 399 of them, bringing their 2012 Euro-zone total to 8,292.

Now the car is being targeted at Japan, as a special trial is underway now in Yokohama.

There is a couple problems however in bringing this EV to Japan (and perhaps the US therafter).  For starters, in Japan you can not yet legally drive one.    Then you have the fact it is a Renault; and Renault’s marketshare in Japan is .005 of one percent.  That is not very big.  Renault has sold 2,587 vehicles in total so far in Japan, which is an excellent result compared to the zero sold here in the US.

Fortunately, Renault has a two-way alliance with Nissan.  So let the re-badging begin!

Top View Of The Little Electric Car From Renault-Nissan

Nissan is showing off the Nissan New Mobility Concept this week in Japan (better name surely en route).  A 80 km/hr (50 mph) electric car that is made in Valladolid, Spain.  The car is powered by a 7 kWh lithium battery and has a range of 62 miles.

The advantage (besides the no license thing) is cost.  In France for example, the Renault Twizy starts at 6 990,00 € ($8,900 USD) with a battery lease of 50 € ($64 USD).  About $900 US more for the top speed version.

After that, there really is no advantage to driving around the tiny electric box (other than on nice days it is as much fun to drive as it looks), but we feel being able to drive electrically for under $9,000 is still going to raise a few eyebrows, especially in big cities.  And Japan has a lot of big cities, as does the United States.

The Renault Twizy made a visit to New York earlier this year, and while the brand Renault is not coming to the US anytime soon, the Twizy (or yet to be properly named Nissan variation) was strongly hinted to be coming, “the Renault Twizy won’t go on sale in the US … but you just wait and see”.

And yes, the Twizy is also now available with doors and full windows.

(Video Below:  Testing of the Nissan NMC In Japan)

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9 responses to "Nissan Looks To Brings Europe’s Best Selling EV To Japan. US Next? (Video)"

  1. Robster1979 says:

    I drove one a while ago in the rain in the Netherlands. The ride is harsh like a bumpercar. Fun to drive and as long there isn’t too much sidewind, you remain dry, even without the windows.

  2. Shawn marshall says:

    A bottom up aproach.
    A cheap commuter.
    One of those rental things you pick up and drop off.
    Kid’s car for campus.
    Retiree alternate to golf cars – price competitive already.
    Looks like this little EV has some potential.
    It can grow up with the market if and when batteries improve.

  3. Warren says:

    Driving around in vehicles that take 20kW to push through the air never made any sense. Doing it with electricity is only a little better. So yes, the Twizy’s 10 kW is an improvement. My electric/human hybrid bicycle takes .3 kW, so we know the brackets.

    The Edison2, VLCe takes 5kW. Now that would be a game changer!

  4. Stuart22 says:

    I like it. Where’s the rear window to help ease the risks when backing up?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Just stick your head out, (=

  5. Frank Carter says:

    Wish it would go faster ~65+ and further ~100 miles, real miles. Then it would compare to a motorcycle with a little more safety. Like the c-1 from Lit motors.

    1. Warren says:

      Frank,

      You can’t compare it to the C-1, as a real, driveable prototype does not exist. To get to 65 mph speeds, and 100 mile range would require better aerodynamics. Even then, a 10-12kWh pack would be required. You would be looking at a $20K vehicle. But it would do 99% of what most people need on a day to day basis.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HTvhkRn_R9U

      http://www.edison2.com/next-generation-vlc/

  6. James says:

    I just don’t see these having a market in the U.S..

    I’ve drooled over the Twizy. I could use one, and while I
    couldn’t justify dishing out new car money for a 70 mile
    EV, I could maybe get a city Twizy for $10grand or so
    by the “boss”.

    That said, this fun little number will have much trouble
    fitting into U.S. safety regulations, and even have mucho
    problemos with state laws. It’ll have to be classified as
    a neighborhood transportation vehicle, not ready for
    prime time on public roads. That, or be classified as
    a motorcycle where you’d be required to wear a helmet.
    So far, I’m not aware of any 4-wheeled vehicles that’ve
    been granted motorcycle status….

    Get passed the safety czars, and now you’ll have to deal
    with fog in the cabin and ventilation. The open concept is
    neat but I don’t see any side impact safety AT ALL with
    Twizy.Those plastic doors don’t seem like they’d give you
    much safety in an accident.

    BMW tried to market it’s C-1 enclosed scooter in Europe
    in the early 2000s, and it failed miserably. The C-1 had
    two wheels, a 125 and 200cc variant and promised
    subcompact car level safety in a tiny two wheeler with
    windshield, roof and no side screens. The aluminum-
    caged scoot had lots of troubles getting certified in
    the U.K. where officials required it’s riders to wear
    a helmet – a condition BMW claimed upped the
    chances for head/neck injuries because C-1 had been
    tested to prevent it’s rider’s head from touching the
    ground due to it’s usage of side bumpers and X-belts
    worn by the rider. BMW ceased sales of the scooter
    which sold over 10,000 it’s first year, and
    2,000 in it’s second.

    A U.S. Twizy would need big bumpers and side
    guards for occupant protection – which would
    pretty much defeat it’s lightweight, simple,
    inexpensive reason for being.

  7. Raymondjram says:

    The safety laws in Puerto Rico are stricter than in the U.S., and therefore it can’t roll on our highways, `so this vehicle will be just an expensive golf cart here.