Joe Downtown: Tiny cars could take over downtown Las Vegas

The Twizy, a Renault-made all-electric vehicle, is being tested by Downtown Project to see if it might fit with the Project’s planned multi-model transportation system. Andy Chatham demonstrates the vehicle, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013.

The Twizy

The Twizy, a Renault-made all-electric vehicle, is being tested by Downtown Project to see if it might fit with the Project's planned multi-model transportation system. Andy Chatham demonstrates the vehicle, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. Launch slideshow »

It takes corners so tightly and quickly, it looks magnetized to the road. It drives as quiet as a whisper. And it gets 60 miles per charge.

It's the Twizy, and it could soon be a regular site on Las Vegas streets.

Project 100, a multi-modal transportation system being planned by the Downtown Project to encourage people to ditch their cars is testing a two-seat, Renault-made, all-electric vehicle. Team member Andy Chatham parked a gull-winged Twizy, one of only two in the United States, in front of The Beat on Fremont Street. (The other is in California.)

If Project 100 adopts the vehicle, each of which costs about $13,000, theywould likely be available for use only on streets with a 35 mph maximum speed limit, Chatham said. They can only drive limited speeds.

The vehicle first went on sale in March 2012 in France and is available in three models. Renault has sold more than 10,000 Twizys, which are reportedly the best-selling plug-in vehicles in Europe.

Chatham said Project 100 has had the car for about two weeks.

Project 100, which will be fee based, is expected to go into testing mode in 2014. Earlier this year, organizers reportedly purchased 100 Tesla electric vehicles. Managers also are looking into bicycle sharing, a ride service and even helicopters for longer trips.

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Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown; he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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