Renault Twizy Factory Video: No Robots, Higher Wages, And Maybe The Only EV That Turns A Profit


This weekend we have been featuring a lot of the Twizy (in the snow, in a office building), and its Renault-based couterpart, the Nissan New Mobility Concept (now testing in Japan, and maybe coming to the US).

Over 9,200 Twizys Have Been Sold In Europe in Under A Year

Over 9,200 Twizys Have Been Sold In Europe in Under A Year

However, and possibly the most intriguing thing about Renault’s city EV, which is technically an electric quadricycle, is that it is completely build by hand, by some of the highest paid workers in the world at one of Renault’s Z.E. (zero emissions) facilities in Valladolid, Spain.

Unlike other electric vehicles, like the Tesla Model S and Nissan LEAF, that boast some of the highest levels of automation during assembly, the Twizy/NMC production line does not feature a single robotic operation.

Also to the best of our knowledge, it is currently the only mass produced EV on the planet where its parent company claims to be fully profitable on the operation as a whole.

Since the 62 mile range EV went on sale in March of 2012, Renault has sold 9,203 Twizys (more specs here).

Categories: Renault, Videos


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6 Comments on "Renault Twizy Factory Video: No Robots, Higher Wages, And Maybe The Only EV That Turns A Profit"

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That little Twizzy is soooo cute.

I wonder what they would cost if they ever brought those to the USA. I’d probably pay as much as $7,000 for one. But I suspect they’ll cost more than that.

The Twizy is great, but could only be sold as a NEV in the US. This means it would be restricted to 25 mph, by federal law, and in most states, can only be driven on roads with a 45 mph speed limit, or less. I could drive from my house, in the country, 1.5 miles to the end of our county road. The state road has a 55 mph speed limit. If I could, magically, get into the nearest city, I could, in theory, drive anywhere. But most of the roads are 35-45 mph speed limit. If I was going the legal 25 mph, I would be run off the road.

Chrysler used to sell the GEM, which they sold to Polaris of Canada recently. It was essentially a Twizy. In fact some guys made a business of hopping them up to run 55 mph….for off-road use only, of course. 🙂

Yeah, I have a problem with that 25mph limit for NEV. Unfortunately, 25MPH is useless. All of the roads in my city are at least 30 mph and everyone speeds on those. So I’d be blocking up traffic by using an NEV at 25 mph. If they could change it so that speed was not restricted as such by the device itself, and allowed us to use them on roads up to 45 mph (basically everything except the freeway) then I think they’d be a heck of a lot more useful.

The Twizy gets a pass on the NEV because of its heavy quadricyle status (somehow), and the Urban 80 (50 mph version) is currently on the clearance/import list at the DMV.

They are legal to import/own and drive in the US. Several have been registered here. Although, I can’t cite you any legal precident for these to be allowed under, other than it might be like Florida’s law that foreigners have to have an Internationl driver’s license, yet they don’t enforce that standard for visitors from certain countries, they look the other way.

If they would give them “moped” status they could be used on any of the roads in Michigan. Currently “mopeds” are not allowed to have more than 2 wheels, so something in the law would have to change.