Renault sets its sights on scooters. With a car

CAR maker Renault has decided to challenge for a slice of the scooter market – but with a car rather than a bike.

Today it's announced the price, in Europe at least, of its all-electric Twizy, which is designed specifically to tempt commuters who would otherwise opt for a scooter. At just 1.19m wide, and with a bike-style tandem seating position, it's footprint isn't that much bigger than a motorcycle, and Renault claims that, like a two wheeler, tests have shown it can cut commuting time by an average 25 percent.

Now we know how much it costs, too. In mainland Europe, the price will be just 6900 Euros, or around £5860. And that's before you start getting subsidies for saving the planet by buying an electric vehicle. If it qualifies for the UK's 25 percent electric car subsidy the price could be as low as £4400. A Piaggio MP3 LT 300 – Renault's main target for the Twizy – is £5649.

Add in the predicted cheap insurance, zero road tax, exemption from road charging and every other benefit that's being thrown at electric vehicles and this could start replacing conventional scooters, particularly for commuters who are more interested in cost than the two-wheeled experience. Just what the beleaguered bike manufacturers need at the moment...