Will Renault Bring The Twizy To North America?

Well, Renault already brought the Twizy to North America (if you want to be literal) — it was displayed at the 2015 Québec City International Auto Show — but the question implied in the headline is, will Renault actually sell the Twizy there?

Renault Twizy

Renault Twizy Back


Renault produces a number of nice vehicles, including the fully electric ZOE and Twizy. As a resident of Europe, it’s one of my preferred brands when it comes to style. However, the French company is not fond of traveling overseas, as it doesn’t offer any vehicles in North America. However, (re-)entry into North America via a French-speaking Canadian province and with a unique electric vehicle that has no real competition at the moment (well, maybe the smart electric drive…) would be sweet.

John Voelcker writes:

Renault’s Emmanuelle Desbrosse, who runs the company’s electric-vehicle unit, confirmed to Le Soleil by e-mail that it had submitted the Twizy for approval to Transport Canada, in response to what she termed many requests.

The company would offer both the two-seat version–with its seats in tandem–and the one-seat version for deliveries, known as the Twizy Cargo.


A second Renault electric vehicle, the Kangoo ZE small van, was not designed to “Federalize,” or meet North American safety standards, said Daniel Bédard, an assistant director of automotive advisory services in the Québec office of the Canadian Auto Association.

But as a low-speed or neighborhood electric vehicle, the Renault Twizy has a far lower bar to clear if Renault finds or sets up a distributor.

Such vehicles need little more than lights, wipers, brakes, and seat belts to be legal, and many are permitted to operate on city streets in various towns, states, and provinces.

In other words, looks like the ZOE (sadly) is out of the question, and Renault is just looking to bring the Twizy because of its special status… so to speak.

I test drove the Renault Twizy at EVS27 in Barcelona, and really liked it. Obviously, with just two seats (at most), it’s not for transporting family around, but it would make for a very fun little commuter if you were staying on low-speed roads (the Twizy has a top speed of 80km/h, or ~50 mph). I liked it much more than the somewhat similar smart electric drive.

Top two images by Zachary Shahan | EV Obsession | CleanTechnica; last image by Renault

One thought on “Will Renault Bring The Twizy To North America?

  1. Not sure about the Canadian regulations, but most places in the US a NEV has to be limited to 35 mph. Which it would seem is something Renault should be able to do. If they ever do show up here in the states maybe we will get lucky and undoing the limiter won’t be to complicated.

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