Since the launch of the third generation Renault Twingo in 2014, the electric version has been postponed time after time. Renault kept saying that people don’t want electric cars…
However, the success of the Renault Zoe in Europe – where it’s the best selling electric car – made Renault proud of its electric leadership and could help the launch of another electric car.
Vincent Tourette, Renault UK Managing Director, confirmed once again that the current Twingo is prepared to have an electric version and added:
“When demand is there, we will be ready.”
While it seems that the speech remained essentially the same, acknowledging the possibility of an electric Twingo – at this moment – doesn’t happen for no reason, especially if we consider that the conditions are now very different. With the eminent opening of the new LG Chem battery cell plant in Europe (Poland), battery supply will increase and costs will decrease.
The current generation of the Twingo and Smart models share the same platform, and as we know, Smart is already selling electric versions with Renault technology, such as the electric powertrain.
Furthermore, later this year, or at worst early 2018, a new 22 kW internal charger made by Renault will be available – as an option – for the electric Smart cars and I think this is the final piece of the development puzzle needed to launch an electric Twingo. While this internal charger will remain as an option to the Smart electric cars, Renault will definitely make it standard in the Twingo ZE.
Regarding the battery, it’s still too early to tell, but if I had to guess I would say that it will probably be half of the Zoe’s battery. This means that instead of the 96s2p configuration, the Renault Twingo ZE should go for the 96s1p (all cells connected in series, none in parallel) configuration. With a roughly 20,5 kWh battery, a 22 kW internal charger and rear-wheel drive, the Renault Twingo ZE would be perfect for the city environment and carsharing companies would buy them in droves.
Additionally, more and more European city centers are saying no to ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars, this makes smaller and cheaper electric cars even more relevant now. Considering that with battery included this electric car would be under 20.000 €, I would definitely want one.
This electric car could also be popular in China, where Renault needs to sell more electric cars if it wants to keep its presence there.
What do you think? Would this be an important electric car for Renault?