Nissan may develop its own version of alliance partner Renault’s four-wheeled scooter, the Twizy, as part of its plans to increase its output of electric vehicles, said the Briton at the head of global product planning, Andy Palmer.

An indication of what it could be is on display at the Tokyo show, called the Nissan Mobility concept.

“It’s no secret that we have used our links within the Alliance, in this case the Twizy,” said Palmer. “We are interested in ‘Nissan-ising’ it.”

One obstacle to production is the Renault will be sold in Europe under the quadricycle regulations so that it does not have to meet normal car crash test requirements but in Japan there are no reciprocal rules.

“It would be seen as being a car and would not be legal,” said Palmer.

“It does not exist in many places. Nissan is more of a global player (than Renault) so we will have to see whether we can produce it. We need first to lobby governments. We are going to show it to some of the Japanese regulators to present a case for it.”

Nissan and Renault are aiming to have a combined 1.6m electric vehicles on the road by 2016.

Nissan’s early efforts “don’t dramatically change what the car is,” said Palmer. There will be a compact hatchback (the Leaf), a van, a luxury car and a city car.

“After that we can see,” Palmer added. “We can put electric motors anywhere in the car we want such as in the wheels. We don’t have to use the space in the front. That frees up all sorts of possibilities.”