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PHOTO CAPTION: Renault Twizy electric 'runabout'

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The souped-down Twizy 45 version that doesn’t require a driver’s license in France and has a top speed of 45 kilometers an hour will retail for €6,990 ($9,000).

Published: 22-Dec-2011

BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT, France — Those who still think electric vehicles are simply jazzed-up golf carts had better think again. Or at least Renault would like them to.

If the French car maker has its way, commuters who fancy slaloming through city traffic and parking perpendicular to the sidewalk will soon be doing so in a tiny all-electric four-wheeler Renault has called the Twizy.

That’s if they don’t mind the cold. Renault’s Twizy has a roof, and a windshield, but there are no sides. Driving along Renault’s new electric-vehicle test track in the outskirts of Paris at 60 kilometers an hour on a chilly December morning got the wind blowing through what’s left of my hair. Commuters making a longish trip in winter will require more wrapping than a business suit.

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