Renault tavares twizy.automotiveIT

Tavares drives an electric Twizy at the opening of Renault’s EV test center (Photo: Renault)

Renault this week opened a test center just outside Paris where customers can test its growing electric vehicle range. The French carmaker said the center aims to convince customers of "the credibility of Renault’s offering and the relevance of its ambitions in electric vehicles."

The Renault ZE center is based on the concept of a customer journey. Such a trip would include reception, a briefing on the various aspects of the electric vehicle "ecosystem," an educational tour of the showroom and a chance to drive one of the Renault electric vehicles on a special test track.

Customers will then also have an opportunity to discuss the cars with Renault staff.

Renault and its alliance partner Nissan plan to bring a broad range of electric vehicles to market in coming years. Next year, Renault COO Carlos Tavares told Le Parisien newspaper, the carmaker will be bringing out nine new models overall, including a revamped version of the Clio sub-compact.

Tavares was also quoted by le Parisien as saying that Renault will "probably" have to engage in some cost-cutting measures in 2012, as core European markets face a widely expected downturn.