Renault to develop new Twingo with Chinese partner

Renault has confirmed that it is developing its new Twingo electric city car with a Chinese partner after talks with Volkswagen broke down.

The French firm’s CEO, Luca De Meo, announced in February that Renault and Volkswagen were in talks over developing a compact affordable EV. However, in late May Volkswagen said it was now developing an electric city car on its own.

Renault has now said that it will press on with the Twingo’s development with a Chinese partner in a decision that was made separately to the end of talks with VW. In February, De Meo said the brand was exploring various avenues alongside the VW deal.

A spokesperson for Renault’s Ampere electric car division told Reuters news agency: “Twingo’s development is moving forward quickly, as we plan to make the development in two years

“The development of the car will be done with a Chinese engineering partner to improve our development lead time and costs.”

However, the spokesperson said that the project would be conducted by Ampere and directed from Europe. They added that the styling, advanced engineering and production would be in Europe, as originally planned. The current Twingo is built in Renault’s Slovenian plant and it has been speculated that production of the new model could go to the same plant.

Renault did not confirm the name of its new Chinese partner but in separate news has announced a new alliance with Geely on combustion and hybrid powertrains.

Renault is among a host of European car makers racing to produce cheaper electric cars. Its sister brand is set to launch a new version of its £15,000 Spring later this year and Citroen has just announced its e-C3 will be priced from £21,990. The Volkswagen Group also confirmed last week that its core brands including VW, Skoda and Seat would launch related sub-€20,000 city car by 2027.

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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.