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car-sharing is on the rise

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car-sharing is on the rise

16.09.2021

  • connectivity
  • shared mobility

When it comes to consumer trends in automotives, habits are changing: more and more customers are increasingly interested in how they use rather a vehicle rather than owning it. Their main criteria are flexibility and availability: move about easily, find a clean and available vehicle nearby, when needed. A comprehensive service, where you only pay for what you use at price known in advance. As simple as that!

This is precisely what Mobilize offers through its ZITY by Mobilize car-sharing service. In an effort to optimize vehicle availability and reduce their downtime, the brand is working on new processes as part of an experimental project out of the Flins Re-Factory. A small, dedicated team has been given a mission of utmost importance: prove that vehicles in car-share fleets can benefit from fast turnaround times when it comes to thorough repairs and servicing. Gilles Normand, SVP, Vehicles – Mobilize Brand, and Alexandra, ZITY France General Manager, explain the rationale behind offering such services to fleet operators.

10 minutes by foot: that is the maximum viable distance between a car-share vehicle and a service user. To meet such a requirement, more cars are not the answer. Above all, a fleet operator like Zity by Mobilize must succeed in reducing vehicle downtime, whether it be for vehicle recharging, cleaning, maintenance, or repairs. After all, if repair costs accumulate and vehicle turnaround is too slow, fleet management can become a paint point. For operators, time is money!

“Downtime, be it for vehicle maintenance or repairs of a car-share fleet, is a cost factor that can quickly increase exponentially if not kept under control.”
Gilles Normand
SVP Vehicles – Mobilize Brand

A new era for the Flins Re-Factory

As a response to such constraints, Mobilize paired up with ZITY by Mobilize to launch a test run at the Renault Group Re-Factory in Flins. The aim being for a small, dedicated team of experts and professionals to test an optimal repair and maintenance process for car-share fleet vehicles.

In 70 years of existence, the Flins factory has seen numerous iconic models roll out its doors; even today, its assembly lines still produce Renault ZOE and Nissan Micra. Through transforming itself into a Re-Factory, it enters into new era, becoming Europe’s leading circular economy factory dedicated to mobility solutions. Among the four pillars behind the transformation of the factory’s business, the Re-Trofit division deals with extending the life of vehicles and find new uses for them. Covering an area around 8,500 m2, the ‘Factory VO’ used car division, dedicated to reconditioning used vehicles, will soon take in vehicles from fleet operators.

This is where Mobilize is put through its paces in a life-size scenario. Teams work on ZITY by Mobilize vehicles to assess the full range of maintenance processes fleet vehicles are put through in order to optimize every step, from the moment they arrive in the factory to their deep-clean and re-release, not forgetting the all-essential diagnostics, repairs, parts orders, and driving tests.

“For car-share service like ZITY by Mobilize to be effective, it requires a number of measures to ensure that vehicles are serviced, cleaned, and recharged within 10 minutes of each customer.”
Alexandra
General Manager ZITY in France

Welcome among the experts

To ensure quality service, dedicated professionals with a perfect knowledge of the vehicles are responsible for carrying out maintenance on bodywork, paint job touch-up, resticking, and cleaning. Another important advantage is that they have a permanent supply of spare parts.

maintenance-carrosserie
Professional maintenance

Through working with the Flins’ Re-Factory, ZITY by Mobilize has access to the necessary skills and capabilities to halve the time their vehicles spend off the road – up to 7 days at most.

  • connectivity
  • shared mobility

Drive around town in a trendy city car!

After Paris, Boulogne-Billancourt, and Clichy, ZITY by Mobilize has extended its service area to four more cities in the south-west of Paris: Issy-les-Moulineaux, Meudon, Sèvres, and Vanves. The fleet of car-share vehicles on offer includes Renault ZOE and Dacia Spring, all for the same price.

Dacia Spring, the little newcomer of ZITY by Mobilize fleet

Thanks to the Re-Factory in Flins, Mobilize aims to offer fleet operators with a profitable and frugal business model. Users are guaranteed satisfaction.

 

Writer: Vallérie Calloc’h

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In the large and complex transportation sector, carbon neutrality is unattainable without joint discussion involving all stakeholders. This is the approach we take in designing solutions for every kind of need. Mobilize supports urban ecology projects by offering transportation solutions tailored to each municipality’s size.

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Stella Vita, a prototype solar-powered house on wheels

Stella Vita, a prototype solar-powered house on wheels

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making the switch to an electric vehicle fleet – advice on choosing the right vehicles and charging solutions

Story

making the switch to an electric vehicle fleet – advice on choosing the right vehicles and charging solutions

12.01.2022

  • connectivity
  • electric vehicle

There are many reasons why a company might want to introduce greener vehicles into its fleet, including growing environmental awareness, an increasingly complex legal environment and greater numbers of low emission zones1. However, making the change can sometimes seem tricky, as there are many factors to consider when choosing electric vehicle charging solutions. The decision-making process entails understanding how charging networks work, as well as the rules and standards that govern them. It also involves determining an appropriate size for the intended level of use, estimating the number of charging points needed and the capacity thereof, etc. Receiving tailored support from experts is the key to making a successful switch to electric vehicles. Companies big and small need a partner that understands their needs, is flexible and offers bespoke solutions. This report looks at Qualiconsult, a Paris-based company that has successfully incorporated electric vehicles into its fleet in recent months.

If electric vehicles are attracting more and more people, how do companies that decide to make the move for their fleet go about it? Qualiconsult’s story shows that seeking expert support can prove highly beneficial, particularly when it comes to choosing charging solutions. We spoke to Vincent Leroux – who set the wheels of change in motion within this leading French property audit and assessment company – in the car park in front of the headquarters in Paris, where both company vehicles and employees’ own cars could be seen.

“We wanted to reduce our carbon footprint, introduce greener vehicles into our fleet and ensure we would be compliant with the French Mobility Act.”
VINCENT LEROUX
Head of procurement and logistics at Qualiconsult

Teaming up with the right partner

Successfully carrying out such a project was no mean feat considering the company has upwards of 260 branches and 2,500 employees worldwide and must comply with the French Mobility Act,2 which has set a 10% hybrid/electric vehicle quota for companies upgrading their fleet. Qualiconsult needed a partner it could rely on, particularly as it had to determine what would be an appropriate size for a charging network available for employee use and help them get to grips with it. Vincent Leroux explains why he decided to entrust Mobilize Power Solutions with the task of installing the charging infrastructure, a decision made after a great deal of thought and consideration:

“As a Renault Group subsidiary, Mobilize Power Solutions boasts unique expertise – in electric vehicles with Renault, as well as in ecosystem management. It provides companies like ours with ready-to-use solutions. Mobilize Power Solutions’s work meant we were able to begin introducing electric vehicles into our fleet.”

Given that six in every 10 cars sold in Europe are company vehicles, with petrol and diesel vehicles accounting for 96% of new company car registrations in 2019,* charging solutions need to be taken up a notch.

*LeasePlan, 2021

qualiconsult-a-opte-pour-une-electrification-progressive-de-sa-flotte
Qualiconsult decided to gradually introduce electric vehicles into its fleet

Taking a gradual approach before going full steam ahead

Qualiconsult decided to gradually introduce electric vehicles into its fleet of almost 2,000 vehicles. After an initial assessment, 25 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles were added to the fleet – a number that has since grown. This practical approach provided an opportunity to analyse drivers’ use of these vehicles.

“We looked at the profile of employees who travel as part of their role and identified those who would benefit the most from an electric vehicle,” says Vincent Leroux. “Mobilize Power Solutions fully met our needs, both in terms of infrastructure and employee support, implementing bespoke solutions, access cards, interfaces, etc.”

This gradual transformation also provided an opportunity to raise employee awareness and give some of them the chance to use an electric vehicle when travelling as part of their job.

Benefitting both the company and employees

Meanwhile, Qualiconsult wanted to make the company vehicle charging infrastructure available to employees with their own electric vehicle – a move that would be greatly appreciated by employees, as it would mean they could charge their personal vehicle during working hours, cutting the cost of driving to and from work.

A few months down the line and users have been entirely won over by the charging facilities available at their workplace. They just need to hold their access card against the reader to start charging.

“You just need to tap your access card against the reader to start charging. It’s convenient and I’m proud to be playing a part in my company’s environmental transition.”

Philippe Lombardi, Qualiconsult employee

img-charge 1
Workplace charging facilities are a major plus
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Workplace charging facilities are a major plus

Rolling out straightforward, robust, and reliable charging solutions

Mobilize Power Solutions helped Qualiconsult determine what its needs were by analysing how the company operates and identifying the number of charging points needed, where they would be put, what capacity they should have, what the economic impact would be, etc. Qualiconsult has access to an overview of the entire charging network, which means it can monitor infrastructure usage rates and charging capacity across France. This invaluable tool optimises fleet management, particularly when employees are travelling between branches.

The plan is for Mobilize Power Solutions to install charging infrastructure at all Qualiconsult branches in the near future. This means that employees travelling from the Paris office to Marseille will be able to charge their vehicle at the Valence branch on the way. A system like this will make a big difference to employees, considering public charging infrastructure – particularly fast-charging facilities along motorways – is still sparse in some areas.

les-salaries-en-deplacement-peuvent-se-charger-dans-les-agences-du-groupe
Employees travelling as part of their role can charge their vehicle at other Group branches

Switching to electric company vehicles is key to promoting more widespread use of EVs

Companies may feel that introducing greener vehicles into their fleet is a costly and complex endeavour at first. However, high levels of fleet usage, tax incentives and reliable on-site support must not be overlooked when making long-term decisions. Opting for a gradual roll-out across company sites benefits both companies and employees, as it gives companies the opportunity to develop innovative mobility plans and play an active role in the environmental transition.

“By providing companies with electric vehicle charging solutions, Mobilize Power Solutions is supporting the economy’s energy transition and promoting more widespread use of electric vehicles.”

Nicolas Schottey, CEO of Mobilize Power Solutions


1 A low emission zone (LEZ) is an area where only the cleanest vehicles are allowed unrestricted entry – the aim being to improve local air quality. A total of 230 European cities had LEZs in place in August 2021.

2 The French Mobility Act (loi sur l’orientation des mobilités) aims to fully decarbonise land transport by 2050.

 

Writer: Valérie Calloc’h

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The on-demand transport market, also known as ride-hailing and consisting mainly of taxis and chauffeur-driven cars, is moving to the next level. Mobilize Limo is an electric sedan designed for professional drivers.

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Stella Vita, a prototype solar-powered house on wheels inspiring Mobilize

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Stella Vita, a prototype solar-powered house on wheels inspiring Mobilize

20.10.2021

  • connectivity
  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition

Is using solar energy to power electric cars just a pipe dream, or will it soon be a reality? For Solar Team, a student collective at the Eindhoven University of Technology, that reality is already here – or almost, at least. Proof comes in the form of Stella Vita, a prototype vehicle with photovoltaic panels on its roof that power not only the engine, but also the entire vehicle, turning it into a living space. Stella Vita is essentially a house on wheels – an idea that naturally appeals to Renault Group. That idea piqued the interest of teams at the Mobilize brand, who are constantly looking to all forms of sustainable mobility. An inspiring and creative meeting took place, during which the students were able to present their project and discover some of Renault and Mobilize’s groundbreaking concept and show cars.

On the morning of 24 September, an unusual prototype was seen whizzing around surprising onlookers in the streets of Guyancourt in Greater Paris. Hailing from the Netherlands, the vehicle had just travelled thousands of kilometres throughout Europe before heading to the Renault Technocentre. The futuristic vessel called Stella Vita is designed by Solar Team, a group of 22 students from the Eindhoven University of Technology, and has emerged as a serious opportunity in the development of new forms of sustainable mobility, as it is powered by several power sources, including solar energy. And what better than a road trip through Europe to test the vehicle in real-life conditions? And not just any road trip – a 3,000-km trip from Eindhoven in the Netherlands to Tarifa in Spain, powered solely by solar energy, to prove the project’s viability.

Electric mobility and solar energy, a winning combination

As a pioneer in electric mobility, Renault Group now has a specific brand, Mobilize, focusing on shared, low-carbon transport. The brand was designed to rise to the challenges of our time and is preparing for the future by exploring all kinds of alternative energy, including solar.

Along its European trip, the Solar Team presented their prototype to companies, universities and institutions. The meeting between Mobilize and these students was full of meaning and learning for everyone.
Ultimately, their aim was to inspire as many as possible and demonstrate that we can harness solar energy to build a sustainable future.

“They have explored their concept to its fullest extent. Stella Vita is a kind of mobile home that offers the features of a car – it does it all. For the students, this experience represents a shift from looking at the theory to tangibly using their ideas.”
Patrick Lecharpy
VP Design Mobilize

Stella Vita’s solar panels are located on its roof. When the vehicle is stationary, the total surface of the panels can reach 17.5 m2 – eliminating the need for recharging points and giving drivers the freedom to go wherever they want, without harming the environment. On the road, Stella Vita can reach up to 120 km per hour, due to its aerodynamic design and light weight of 1,700 kilos. And, thanks to its 60 kwh capacity lithium-ion battery, the vehicle’s range can reach 600 km on a full charge – a figure that can even go up to 730 km if the sun shines throughout the journey. However, it takes 2 to 3 days to fully recharge the batteries with the solar panels when the prototype is stopped. That’s why it is also equipped with a plug to recharge it via a classic terminal, which is faster than the solar recharge. The prototype can also be plugged into standard electric charging points, guaranteeing mobility in all weather conditions.

stella vita
In driving mode, the total surface of the solar panels folded on the roof of Stella Vita is 8,8m2 for more aerodynamics

A voiture à vivre? That sounds familiar…

Solar energy collected by the rooftop panels powers the equipment in this prototype, which also functions as a living space. Renault has a long history with voitures à vivre – it’s not just a former slogan and state of mind symbolising a previous era, but an idea that continues to inspire the brand today. Stella Vita aligns perfectly with this vision and even goes further as a sort of house on wheels. According to the creators, this prototype represents the future of sustainable transportation – a mobile home where users can live and even work while travelling, powered by the energy of the sun.

“We all got together to think about it and realised that we had excess energy remaining from solar panels. We wondered what we could do with it, and came up with a car you can live in.” Lowe Blom, Aerodynamics Engineer Solar Team

When stationary, Stella Vita’s mobile roof rises to create more space inside, while the lateral wings extend, doubling the surface space of the solar panels. Want to watch tv, cook, or take a shower? No problem – the car is kitted out with a kitchen, a bed, a sofa, a shower and a toilet, all of which is powered by solar energy. An infotainment system enables users to visualise their energy consumption in real-time, giving them greater control of how they use it.

The innovation behind Stella Vita has therefore been incorporated in Mobilize’s vision and its research into the development of new, increasingly bold and sustainable mobility solutions.

This original project, which went far beyond its original educational context, is the result of the collective efforts of the students in Solar Team who come from multiple disciplines – such as mechanical and electric engineering, computer science and industrial design. That cross-disciplinary approach left its mark on Laurens Van Den Acker, the head of design for Renault Group, who also studied at Eindhoven University of Technology who had a real interest in meeting the young designers.

From prototype to production model: discovering the Renault and Mobilize concept and show cars

Laurens therefore welcomed the students to the Design studio at the Technocentre, where they could discover concept and show cars by Renault and Mobilize. It was an opportunity for everyone to discuss the future of the project and the hurdles to overcome before turning the prototype into a production model.

The founders of Stella Vita were given valuable advice – for example, learning that when working on a prototype, one of the keys to success is to differ as little as possible between the designed concept and the real vehicle that will later be sold. The students therefore understood that, when looking at the Renault 5 Prototype, that they were looking at something very similar to the future production model that will be sold in 2024. They also learned about the overall transition from design to production series when they looked at the Renault MORPHOZ concept car, the first in a new generation of electric vehicles by Renault, and the Megane eVision show car, which preceded the new Mégane E-TECH Electric, another model they got to see. The students also checked out the 2016 TreZor concept – the perfect illustration of a prototype that became reality, with its reverse L-shaped dashboard display that came ahead of the OpenR screen that can now be found in the new Megane E-TECH Electric.

prototype mobilize 12
Solar Team students introduce the Stella Vita prototype to the Design Mobilize team
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Solar Team students introduce the Stella Vita prototype to the Design Mobilize team
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Solar Team students introduce the Stella Vita prototype to the Design Mobilize team
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Solar Team students introduce the Stella Vita prototype to the Design Mobilize team
prototype mobilize 16
Solar Team students introduce the Stella Vita prototype to the Design Mobilize team
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Solar Team students introduce the Stella Vita prototype to the Design Mobilize team
prototype mobilize 18
Solar Team students introduce the Stella Vita prototype to the Design Mobilize team
“Concept cars like TreZor and MORPHOZ portray a dream for the future, but they are also a way of exploring new solutions. We learn a lot from these experiences.”
Laurens Van Den Acker
EVP Corporate Design Renault Group

Patrick Lecharpy, VP Design Mobilize, talked to the Solar Team students about the original aspects of the creative process behind the brand’s vehicles. Teams design the vehicles as a genuine service, using a creative approach that differs from that used by more traditional brands. The designers do not start out by drawing a vehicle; rather, they think about the overall experience of sustainable mobility and services that could assist not only users, but also operators and cities as a whole.

“Current vehicles are not suited to shared mobility. We need to design new, different vehicles that meet emerging uses and needs. In the future, vehicles will become more connected, stronger and sustainable over time.”
Patrick Lecharpy
VP Design Mobilize

Duo and Bento are two concept cars by Mobilize that were presented to the students and represent the brand’s ideas for solutions to help cities in their transition towards sustainability mobility solutions. Duo, a small electric and connected vehicle for shared mobility in urban areas, was even presented using augmented reality so that the students could best discover the range of services it will offer. One of the students in the Solar Team that we spoke to recalled its capacity to provide a genuine solution to the challenges of urban mobility:

“Mobilize Duo is an excellent way of optimising vehicle traffic in urban areas, and it is much more energy efficient than conventional vehicles.”

prototype mobilize 1
The Solar Team to discover the emblematic Renault and Mobilize concepts and show cars
prototype mobilize 2
The Solar Team to discover the emblematic Renault and Mobilize concepts and show cars
prototype mobilize 3
The Solar Team to discover the emblematic Renault and Mobilize concepts and show cars
prototype mobilize 4
The Solar Team to discover the emblematic Renault and Mobilize concepts and show cars
prototype mobilize 5
The Solar Team to discover the emblematic Renault and Mobilize concepts and show cars
prototype mobilize 6
The Solar Team to discover the emblematic Renault and Mobilize concepts and show cars
prototype mobilize 7
The Solar Team to discover the emblematic Renault and Mobilize concepts and show cars

A sunny future

This meeting provided the beginning of an answer to the question on everybody’s lips: will we soon be able to drive vehicles that are powered solely by the sun’s rays? The students at Solar Team think that Stella Vita is a first look at solar mobility, which should roll out in 2030. But major technological developments in photovoltaics and batteries will be needed for large-scale deployment. The team could harness Mobilize’s research on using renewable energies to power electric vehicles, as seen on the “smart island” of Porto Santo, Portugal.

porto santo
Porto-Santo Island in Portugal where Renault Group is developing a Smart Island

In any case, the sun is shining on Stella Vita and the project’s ambitions. Mobility and renewable energy are a winning combination to tackle the complex crossroads of the environmental transition and the automobile industry.

 

Writer: Alizée Carn

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When it comes to consumer trends in automotives, habits are changing: more and more customers are increasingly interested in how they use rather a vehicle rather than owning it.

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rural communities adopting shared electric mobility solutions

Story

rural communities adopting shared electric mobility solutions

16.11.2021

  • electric vehicle
  • shared mobility

Everyone everywhere needs to have access to mobility, not just people in major urban centres. An increasing number of rural areas are starting to address this concern, because although it is now possible to access a number of services at just the click of a button wherever you may be, getting around can often still be a struggle when you live in the countryside. Public transport can form part of the solution, but such services are often few and far between, and sometimes may even be inexistant.

So, why should rural communities be denied the possibility to enjoy smart mobility services that are green, shared and available to all, just like people in towns and cities? a challenge that is all the more important at a time when less densely populated areas have never been so popular. Certain areas are tackling the issue head on, demonstrating incredible creativity. That’s what is happening in Luitré-Dompierre, a village in Brittany, northwestern France, home to 1,900 people, which has found a solution by developing a service area offering a car share service through Mobilize Share.

“God helps those who help themselves” is a phrase Michel Balluais, mayor of Luitré-Dompierre in France’s northwestern Brittany region, likes to live by. Convinced of the need to facilitate access to transport, he therefore decided to take action, in consultation with his constituents to ensure they could all take advantage of a range of transport solutions. At the heart of the system lies the car share service provided by Mobilize Share.

“We wanted to provide people with solutions to make it easier for them to get around day to day or for more occasional needs by making environmentally friendly transport available.”
Michel Balluais
Mayor of Luitré-Dompierre

 From a citizen café to developing a new service – the birth of a new kind of mobility

It all started at a citizen café with local residents to understand their needs.

Our village is very well situated,” explained the Mayor. “We are on the V9 bike route that runs from the Mont Saint Michel to Chateaubriand, in the heart of a region that attracts many tourists. We are just 10 km from Fougères and 45 minutes from Rennes.

If many people commute to these destinations, the mobility needs expressed by the community also covered a much smaller scale, such as going to and from local shops and services.

“We aim to enable everyone, across all generations, to be able to move around as they wish without always having to use their car. Basically, we want to promote shared mobility by providing a range of transport solutions,” said Michel Balluais.

luitre-dompierre 2
Luitré-Dompièrre is a rural village located in a major tourism region

  A service hub with two shared Renault ZOE

The village of Luitré-Dompierre has risen to the challenge with enthusiasm, just like a project team! The idea was to create a service hub centred around the Mobilize Share car share service, through which two Renault ZOE vehicles are available to the public.

The mayor and his team chose to roll out the solution in three stages, first by designing the infrastructure, then equipping it and finally promoting the service.

The hub was designed and installed in an area alongside a thoroughfare on the outskirts of the village, where appropriate signage was also erected. It boasts a number of services, including a car wash, a caravan park, a car pooling meeting point, a fleet of electric bikes and a car sharing service with the two Renault ZOE, complete with a charging station of course. The hub was designed to make it easy for people to get around the local area, by combining various modes of transport.

The project received support from the European Commission as part of the Leader initiative developed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) that aims to support rural communities in meeting their local development objectives.

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The mayor in front of the two Renault ZOE at the service hub

 Making life easier for local people

In scarcely populated areas like Luitré-Dompierre, local people tend to rely heavily on their cars. Some families feel it is essential to own one or two cars, which they often associate with a feeling of freedom – “I can go where I want, when I want, and don’t need to plan”. The introduction of this service can help certain families who only own one car but sometimes needs to travel to two different places at the same time. Ultimately, it will encourage some people to seriously consider whether or not two vehicles are really necessary when it is just as easy to book a shared vehicle when they need via an app.

The local authority felt it was important to promote and support the uptake of the new service by ensuring someone at the council is always available to help users if they require. It also gives them the opportunity to get their feedback on the service, while directly monitoring how often the vehicles are used and for what purpose. Further to the novelty of car sharing, the new service will introduce a number of users to the joys of driving an electric vehicle.

mobilize share
The town hall accompanies the deployment of the service

  Mobilize Share, a simple, effective solution

Car sharing offers a number of advantages, for example it helps people to save money, as they no longer need to buy a second car, but first and foremost it provides near permanent access to mobility.

Mr Bertel, a pensioner living in Luitré-Dompierre, uses the Mobilize Share service when his wife needs to take the family car. It offers an easy and cheap alternative that in no way restricts his freedom to get about.

“My wife and I may need a vehicle at the same time. It could be for shopping or to visit our son in Rennes”.
Mr Bertel, a pensioner living in Luitré-Dompierre

With just a few clicks in the Mobilize Share app, he can book one of the two Renault ZOE vehicles. The car’s range (395 km according to the WLTP) comfortably allows him to travel to Rennes and back, and even go further should he so desire.

application-mobilize
A dedicated ap

Users pick the cars up and drop them off after use at the charging station installed by the council in the village.

The proposed car-sharing service operates in a “closed loop”, i.e. once the user has completed his/her journey, he/she must return the vehicle to its original location.

The vehicles can be booked for a number of hours or for the day, and the local authority underwrites the cost of charging and maintaining the vehicles, while providing the service at the very reasonable price of €5 per hour of €25 for 24 hours.

reservation-vehicules
The vehicles can be booked for a number of hours or for the day

Car sharing: a relevant response to the need for mobility in the countryside

Initiatives to bring new mobility solutions to rural areas are gaining in popularity and trials are proving successful. Car sharing offers an alternative solution that complements existing transport services. It is also a practical and efficient solution: it reduces traffic and optimises a mobility budget.

“When the car share fleet is composed of electric vehicles like in Luitré-Dompierre, it helps to combine mobility with protecting the environment and satisfying the needs of people looking for greener, more sustainable mobility solutions”, concluded the mayor.

mobilize-campagne

Writer: Valérie Calloc’h

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Mobilize, draw me an experience

Story

Mobilize, draw me an experience

01.04.2021

  • connectivity
  • design
  • shared mobility
  • transport on demand

Responding to the challenges and problems of travel in urban areas, designing a comprehensive experience, starting – not from the drawing board – but from the smartphone… This is how the EZ-1 Prototype was born: the realization of a mobility experience designed for the new needs of consumers, cities and operators. Patrick Lecharpy, Mobilize’s Design Director, looks back on this unprecedented ‘creative exploit’.

“It was the first time we were asked to imagine a mobility solution that would perfectly meet the new needs of users, cities and operators. A real challenge!”
Patrick Lecharpy
Mobilize’s Design Director

 

 

A challenge that Patrick Lecharpy took up with more enthusiasm since the Mobilize Design entity that he heads was specially created to ‘think comprehensively’ and take into account the mobility ecosystem as a whole.

  • connectivity
  • design
  • shared mobility
  • transport on demand

The basis of this approach is that everyone’s expectations must be considered.

Operators and municipalities have many needs: parking, congestion, multimodality, reduction of environmental impact, energy savings and the circular economy.

Users, both urban and suburban, are looking for travel solutions adapted to their professional needs, as well as their personal needs… without having to invest in a vehicle.

In any case, a mobility experience cannot be conceived without a smartphone application. It’s where users start their experience, it’s their first point of contact with the service. In this approach, it is also the application that must allow users to recognize the vehicle remotely, to unlock it or even take a virtual tour of its interior.

smartphone_experience_mobilite
The smartphone at the centre of the Mobilize mobility experience

An unprecedented request, an unprecedented response

“Once we had all these elements, our mission was very clear,” says a smiling Patrick Lecharpy, “we had to create a vehicle that would provide a service that would meet all the needs of all customers for all possible uses. And, of course, it needed to look good!”

So we had to invent a new creative approach!

emmanuelle-dauboin
Emmanuelle Dauboin, Design Project Manager for Mobilize

The Mobilize Design team boasts a major advantage: it is structured like a startup, made-up of creatives who use the city on a daily basis, tuned into the expectations of future customers and capable of expressing them in terms of experience and design.

Although local authorities and operators provided a lot of food for thought, Patrick Lecharpy wanted to go further and capture the new cultural and emotional forces of today.

“The best approach was to send my team directly to the source, to get the most accurate information, on the ground.”

eduardo-lana-y-costa
Eduardo Lana-Y-Costa, Designer for Mobilize

The whole team got involved: some tested the existing offers while others experimented for a few months with all the different modes of shared transport.

Everyone then shared their feelings and observed uses with Eduardo, Interaction Designer, who then sketched the first storyboards. Little by little, the EZ-1 Prototype began to take shape…

A new experience in shared mobility

“This new approach allowed us to capitalize on all these experiences and, to our great surprise, move forward much faster in a very responsive and interactive way,” recalls Patrick Lecharpy.

For the Design team, it was the first time that so many experiences were pooled around a single project. And all of them proved to be essential to design the most relevant experience around a connected, electric, recycled, recyclable vehicle, dedicated to car-sharing. More than just a means of transportation, the EZ-1 Prototype will be a new experience in shared mobility.

mobilize-ez-1-prototype
Mobilize EZ-1 Prototype

“We want to offer as many people as possible the chance to access a means of transportation that is easy to use, fun and even playful, without the need to purchase the object,” explains Patrick Lecharpy. “In terms of mobility, we are truly in the process of writing ‘the next story’.”

 

Writer: Renault Group

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the double life of my battery

Story

the double life of my battery

06.05.2021

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

To limit the rise in temperature, the automobile industry must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. How can this be done? By encouraging the switch to electric vehicles while optimising and extending the life of batteries. With Mobilize, the objective is to create sustainable ecosystems that combine electric mobility, intelligent recharging and the reuse of batteries to store renewable energy. To achieve this, Mobilize is combining its expertise with that of other players such as the start-up Green-Vision, based in Etampes, near Paris, which specialises in the integration of second-life batteries into other vehicles. Yann Lelong, its founder, explains how this partnership works and what it brings to life with the ex-batteries of Renault vehicles.

Ten years ago, Renault Group was the first carmaker to bet on the circular economy and the electric vehicle. Today, the results are as good as that bet, with the company now number one in electric vehicles in Europe and a leading position in the circular economy with the Re-Factory in Flins. Acting on the entire life cycle of the battery means accelerating the deployment of more efficient, low-carbon batteries, but there is still a significant step to be taken before they are recycled: their reuse or reconditioning.

“The battery is considered used when it leaves the vehicle at the end of its life. However, this is still more than enough for less energy-intensive applications. This is where I come in, as an integrator specialising in reconditioning.”
YANN LELONG
GREEN-VISION Director

To each his own!

Aware of the potential that a battery can offer and the environmental virtue of its reconditioning, Yann Lelong, an engineer by training, with a passion for cars, mechanics and electronics, has specialised in electrification and the circular economy. Through his start-up Green-Vision, he gives a second life to the batteries of electric vehicles for customers looking for solutions compatible with their uses… and their values.

The partnership with Mobilize allows him to reuse used batteries from Renault electric vehicles, which – after nearly 10 years of good and loyal service – are then put to a new use. They can no longer be used to power a vehicle but can be put to many other uses. And this is where their new life begins… because they still have enough capacity for a reconversion of choice!

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Second life of Renault battery

“As integrators we disassemble the components of these original batteries to reassemble new packs. A bit like LEGO that we reassemble with a new weight and voltage, according to our customers’ needs. This is the magic of second life.”

From pizza delivery scooters to food trucks

These new lives are varied. For example, the batteries can be used to power two-wheelers: electrically-assisted bicycles, pizza delivery scooters or this record-breaking motorbike. Anything is possible, including performance, with second life batteries!

food-truck
A 100% zero-emission foodtruck

Another example is this foodtruck based on a Master Z.E., a zero-emission mobile catering unit, both on the engine side and the kitchen side. The large amount of electrical power needed for the waffle makers, salad bowls, toasters and deep fryers is provided by second life batteries and solar panels. No more need to plug into an electrical outlet or a noisy, smelly generator to provide non-stop service.

Second life batteries can also be useful for transporting pharmaceutical products, such as vaccines, for which the storage temperature must be absolutely stable and controlled. When the driver stops the vehicle engine for a delivery, the cold production is cut off. Here, the second life batteries continue to provide the energy needed to ensure that the cold chain is not affected, even if the engine is switched off.

So an extra slice of life before recycling is not insignificant!

” We still have many ideas for applications with these second-life batteries that we are developing. “

> Learn more on our action for climate

 

Writer:  Valérie Calloc’h

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