MADRID – Renault launches production of its Twizy electric vehicle for global distribution at its Valladolid plant 120 miles (200 km) northwest of Madrid.

The EV features two seats, one behind the other. It will be marketed in two versions, the Twizy 45, which can be driven without a driver’s license in some countries, and the Twizy 80.

The Twizy 45 costs €6,990 ($9,300), but subsidies offered by the Spanish government for EV purchases could cut its price to below €5,000 ($6,650).

The Twizy 80 will be offered in two equipment levels, Urban and Technik, with announced prices of €7,690 and €8,490 ($10,200 and $11,300), respectively. The government subsidies could drop their cost to €5,410 and €5,970 ($7,180 and $7,930), respectively.

With annual production scheduled at 20,000 units, Renault wants to add a second shift employing 100 workers transferred mainly from other assembly lines at the Valladolid plant and from the nearby Palencia facility.

Only 300 Twizys will be assembled some weeks, Renault Spain CEO Jose Vicente de los Mozos says.

Some analysts consider the Twizy a risk amid Spain’s ongoing economic difficulties; many auto makers are putting their EV projects on hold, due to the vehicles’ their high price and unresolved technical problems.

“The Renault-Nissan Alliance has invested big quantities of money in the development of the electric vehicles, getting important governmental subsidies all over the world for the development and diffusion of the EV, and now the alliance is in some way caught in its own policy,” says one analyst who asks not to be identified.

Nissan launched its Leaf EV in Spain last September with a sales target of 500 units in the first six months. In January, the Japanese auto maker donated 43 rapid-recharge EV stations that will be installed mainly in service stations surrounding major Spanish cities.

Because the charging stations conform to the CHAdeMO standard observed by a coalition of global companies and local governments, they also could be used by PSA Peugeot Citroen EVs.