French automaker Renault has been a busy beaver. Just days ago, Revmodo reported that the company donated several modified, all-electric Kangoo vans to the service of Pope Benedict XVI. Now, it appears that Renault, together with sister company Nissan, may have a hand in bring the first ever Russian-produced electric vehicle to market.

It appears that electric cars are part of the social ranking system in the global auto industry. All the cool kids are doing it, and if you’re an auto maker that isn’t working on adding EVs to your lineup, you might find yourself sitting alone at lunch. A lot.

Hoping to keep pace with its global competitors, Russian automaker Lada recently unveiled its first all-electric concept at the 2012 Moscow Auto Show. Boosted by Renault and Nissan, which are 50 percent owners in the company, the car’s design builds on the already existent Kalina model. Instead of a combustion engine, however, the El Lada will feature a Chinese lithium battery they claim will allow 93 miles of travel on a single charge, with a top speed of around 80 miles an hour.

According to Technologic Vehicles, the El Lada’s specs do not indicate a vehicle for a cross-country travel, but rather an efficient compact car for Russian urban centers with problematic air pollution. Inside Line reports that the car is mainly intended for taxi use in the Caucasus region of Russia.

Although taxi cab companies will love the fuel savings of the El Lada, experts say individual drivers might not be as enthusiastic. A regular Lada Kalina costs between $8,000 and $10,000, while the El Lada will cost the equivalent of $31,148. Still, Nissan doesn’t sell the LEAF in Russia, so Lada may have the advantage of an open market, at least for the time being.

Main photo credit: Avtovaz/Green Car Reports; video credit: Lada