Renault and VW in talks over electric city car

Renault has revealed that it is in partnership talks with Volkswagen over a future compact electric model.

Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Renault CEO Luca De Meo said that the French firm was in “good discussions” with VW but was also looking at collaborating with other potential partners.

De Meo said that Renault was in “early talks” over a deal with VW, adding that he was happy to work with multiple partners on developing an electric city car. He said: “I am open to anybody who wants to jump in. I have production capacity. I have the platform. I know how to do it.”

While manufacturers have so far focused on larger, family EVs, attention is increasingly turning to smaller, more affordable models and European car makers are looking for cost-effective ways to produce these.

Renault has already revealed plans for an all-new electric Twingo based on its small electric car platform, and a partnership with the French firm could give other brands a quick and cheap way to enter the city car market.

The Twingo will be built on a scaled down version of the AmpR platform that underpins the new Renault 5 and is expected to cost less than €20,000 when it goes on sale in 2026.

Volkswagen has already indicated that it plans to launch an ID.1 model to sit beneath the Polo-sized ID.2, and its brand CEO Thomas Schaefer has previously said that it would be open to working with other partners to achieve competitive pricing. That model would create a replacement for the VW e-up and its Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo siblings.

De Meo said that while Renault was happy to work with other brands – a move that would help cut Renault’s own production costs – the Twingo would go ahead with or without partnerships. He told reporters: “I don’t have any time to waste, so I will not postpone it.”

Traditionally, profit margins on small cars are narrower than on larger models, making collaboration between brands attractive. Previous examples include the Toyota/PSA tie-up that produced the Aygo/Citroen C1/Peugeot 108, and Ford and Fiat collaborating on the Ka/Fiat 500 – a car which De Meo helped make a success.

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.