the new connected charging point: Mobilize PowerBox 

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the new connected charging point: Mobilize PowerBox

As a specialist in services that promote ever more carbon-free mobility, Mobilize is innovating, thanks to cutting-edge technological partners, to offer a charging point for electric vehicles with the highest level of connectivity: the Mobilize PowerBox.

  • connectivity
  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition

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a charging station for every use

Mobilize PowerBox is a charging solution that adapts to all electrical installations, whether single-phase or three-phase. It can be installed indoors or outdoors, on a wall or on a stand.  

Safe to use, the Mobilize PowerBox integrates into the electrical ecosystem of the place where it is installed. Its dynamic energy management modulates the charging power according to the power available, thus avoiding tripping the system. 

The Mobilize PowerBox terminal operates on alternating current (AC). Depending on the electrical installation and the vehicle’s charging capacity, it can deliver charging power of up to 22 kW. Mobilize PowerBox is compatible with all electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles fitted with a type 2 socket. 

To meet the different needs of both private and business customers, Mobilize PowerBox is available in four versions: 

  • The UNO version is a simple, secure home recharging solution.
  • The UNO PLUS version is designed for infrastructures installed in businesses or condominiums. It incorporates an RFID card reader to ensure that only authorised users have access to charging. This gives the manager greater traceability of the charging point’s operation.
  • The UNO PRO version is accessible to the general public or installed on company premises. In addition to an RFID reader, this version is equipped with a MID (Measurement Instruments Directive) meter that enables electricity to be billed back to service users and simplifies the reimbursement of employees’ business expenses by certifying the electricity consumed during home recharging. 
  • The VERSO version is the two-way Mobilize PowerBox charging point. It charges the vehicle, of course, but it can also send electricity back to the home network and to the public grid. A dream that will soon become reality, with the Renault 5 E-Tech electric. Equipped with a bi-directional charger, the iconic city car is the first vehicle in a long series to benefit from reversible charging – when combined with the Mobilize PowerBox Verso charging point and the Mobilize electricity contract.

All Mobilize PowerBox versions can be locked and unlocked remotely, updated automatically and diagnosed remotely if required (FOTA, firmware over the air) via WiFi or Ethernet connection. The UNO PRO and VERSO versions have a 4G connection. 

★ ★ ☆
two-way intelligent charging: a reality thanks to Mobilize PowerBox Verso

At the cutting edge of the latest energy and data management technologies, the Mobilize PowerBox Verso communicates directly with the car, but also with the home network and the public electricity grid.  

The user doesn’t have to worry about a thing. The system’s intelligence and connectivity mean that the service can take control of the charging and discharging of the vehicle.  

On the one hand, the car is charged at times when electricity is the least carbon-intensive and cheapest, i.e. when it is most available on the grid compared with overall demand. This is particularly the case when the sun is shining on photovoltaic panels and the wind is blowing through wind turbines. As well as helping to reduce the share of fossil fuels in the electricity mix, this means lower energy bills for users, up to 50% for home charging. 

On the other hand, the car is discharged at times when the electricity supply is insufficient compared with demand. The low-carbon electricity stored in the vehicle thanks to the intelligent charging phases can then be fed into the user’s domestic electricity network or the public electricity network. By offsetting the intermittency of renewable energies such as solar and wind power, the bi-directional system encourages the grid to make maximum use of them, in order to produce low-carbon electricity.  

From Mobilize’s point of view, intelligent two-way recharging, or V2G (vehicle to grid), is not just for the happy few. On the contrary, it is designed to be accessible, so as to maximise its impact on the local energy mix. Mobilize PowerBox operates on direct current (AC), which considerably reduces its acquisition cost compared with terminals operating on alternating current (DC). Combined with its ability to generate significant savings for the user, Mobilize PowerBox actively contributes to the widespread adoption of two-way electric charging. 

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combining expertise for carbon-free electric mobility

The Mobilize PowerBox is the fruit of the strength and technological expertise of a veritable ecosystem: the Software Republic, and more specifically 4 of its members – Orange, Renault Group, STMicroelectronics and Thales – together with their partner IoTecha Corp.  

The Mobilize PowerBox terminal is thus at the heart of innovation in intelligent, secure and sustainable mobility. Two examples among many? It has been designed to guarantee users a maximum level of cyber security, thanks in particular to the expertise of Thalès. And its services are always at the cutting edge of technology, courtesy of a remote update system.  

To manufacture it, a specialist was also needed. The industrial launch of the Mobilize PowerBox charging point took place in February 2024, on the new production line at Lacroix’s “Symbiose” electronics plant in Maine-et-Loire, France. Lacroix, an international player in the electronics production of embedded systems and industrial connected objects, is thus putting its strategy of automated and digitalised Industry 4.0 at the service of Mobilize. 

The choice of this partner is in line with Renault Group’s commitment to contributing to the relocation of the electronics industry in France. In addition, the plant benefits from a network of local suppliers that reduces the carbon impact of the supply chain. 

The Mobilize PowerBox charging point will soon be available in the Renault network for all Renault Group brand electric vehicles, starting of course with the Renault 5 E-Tech electric. The Renault network is a genuine “one-stop shop”, enabling customers to order their vehicle and charging point at the same time. The Mobilize PowerBox will be installed and ready for use as soon as the vehicle is delivered. 

The Mobilize brand dedicated to recharging solutions, Mobilize Power Solutions, is responsible for setting up the Mobilize PowerBox. Its expertise is particularly valuable in supporting business customers, whether in assessing the needs of the user(s), installing the right version of the charging station and monitoring its operation. 

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electric car charging: Mobilize simplicity serves Renault 5 E-Tech electric 

HIGHLIGHTS

electric car charging: Mobilize simplicity serves Renault 5 E-Tech electric

The iconic little city car born in 1972 is reinventing itself. Its ambition is once again to make its mark. But how? By embodying a response to the technological, social and environmental challenges of today’s mobility in a way that is both committed and exciting. Mobilize, the Renault Group brand dedicated to new, low-carbon forms of mobility, is helping to meet this challenge.

  • brand vision
  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition

AN OFFER COMBINING RENAULT GROUP SKILLS AND EXPERTISE

Its unique and emotional design is not its only asset. Renault 5 E-Tech electric is a perfect expression of the Renault Group’s multi-specialist strategy.

First and foremost, it proudly bears the Renault brand image and its innovations with human added value. Renault 5 E-Tech electric is intuitive and warm, comfortable, safe, connected, simple…

It also embodies the advanced technologies and competitive advantages developed by Ampere, the Renault Group entity specialising in electric vehicles and software. Its unique platform dedicated to small 100% electric vehicles and the strength of its European industrial ecosystem make the Renault 5 E-Tech electric a cutting-edge car, while allowing it to be sold at an affordable price.

Last but not least, this 100% electric model benefits from Mobilize’s expertise in electric recharging.

THE MOBILIZE ECOSYSTEM SIMPLIFIES THE CHARGE OF AN ELECTRIC CAR

Mobilize offers a range of products and services that accelerate the transition to mobility that emits fewer greenhouse gases and consumes fewer natural resources. The cars designed by Renault Group brands rely on Mobilize to enhance their users’ experience. Renault 5 E-Tech electric is undoubtedly the most striking such example.

To plug in the Renault 5 E-Tech electric at home or in the office, Mobilize Power Solutions offers the installation of recharging points in private access areas. This is particularly true of the brand-new Mobilize PowerBox charging point, whose unexpected powers are described in more detail below.

At home, Mobilize Smart Charge offers an intelligent, low-cost recharging solution. It’s an application that controls vehicle charging to coincide with the times when electricity is most available on the grid, i.e. when it’s mainly low-carbon and cheap. This saves around 20% on the cost of electric charging.

As for recharging on the road or in the street, Mobilize Charge Pass makes it as easy as possible. A single card gives access to more than 600,000 public charging points in 25 European countries, with payment on recharging. What’s more, by activating Mobilize Charge Pass on the My Renault application, users can take advantage of the Mobilize Plug & Charge function at a large number of direct current (DC) charging points on fast lanes. With this truly “hands-free” mode, all you have to do is plug in Renault 5 E-Tech electric to start charging and secure invoicing, without having to take out a card or code.

THE RENAULT 5 E-TECH ELECTRIC: A REAL ENERGY PLAYER VIA MOBILIZE SERVICES

The new Ampere platform dedicated to B-segment electric vehicles gives the Renault 5 E-Tech electric significant competitive advantages in terms of architecture and electrical and electronic innovations. This is particularly true of the vehicle’s on-board charger.

Renault 5 E-Tech electric is launching a new 11 kW bidirectional alternating current (AC) charger. Combined with the Mobilize PowerBox bi-directional charging point and the Mobilize electricity contract, it enables users to benefit from bi-directional charging. Part of the electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery can then be used to power an electrical appliance in the home, such as a barbecue or hoover. This is known as ‘V2L’ (vehicle-to-load). But the R5 goes even further: its charger is also compatible with the V2G (vehicle-to-grid) service, which allows the car to feed carbon-free electricity back into the grid. Thanks to this new charger, the Renault 5 E-Tech electric can not only charge at times when the supply of electricity is greater than demand on the grid, i.e. with the lowest carbon electricity possible, but also “charge the grid” when the supply of electricity is less than demand. In other words, the electric vehicle smoothes out peaks in supply and peaks in demand on the energy grid. The result? The intermittency of electricity production from renewable energy sources (solar, wind, etc.) is no longer an obstacle to their use! This will encourage the production of low-carbon electricity and improve the local energy mix.

The V2G system, pioneered on the Renault 5 E-Tech electric and set to become standard on all Renault Group vehicles, places the vehicle at the heart of the energy ecosystem. Using the different Mobilize services mentioned above, a Renault 5 E-Tech electric equipped with the bi-directional AC charger becomes a real lever for decarbonisation.

THE MOBILIZE POWERBOX, ESSENTIAL FOR TWO-WAY RECHARGING

Mobilize is launching the Mobilize PowerBox charging point and its bidirectional version, called Mobilize PowerBox Verso. This innovation was designed in collaboration with teams from the Software République, a European collaborative ecosystem for safe and sustainable mobility, founded by several major companies including Renault Group. Manufactured in France, Verso develops power of up to 22 kW in alternating current (AC) and is compatible with all electric and rechargeable hybrid vehicles.

Mobilize PowerBox Verso communicates with the Renault 5 E-Tech electric bi-directional charger and the cloud to – according to circumstances – either recharge the vehicle’s battery or send electricity back to the grid. Depending on the need to recharge the battery, domestic requirements and the incentives of the energy market and the public grid, Mobilize PowerBox Verso circulates the current between the car and the home, at the highest level of electrical safety, durability of the installations and the battery, and cyber security.

A MOBILIZE ELECTRICITY CONTRACT COMPLETES THE V2G SYSTEM

To take advantage of the two-way V2G (vehicle to grid) function, the Mobilize PowerBox Verso terminal must be associated with a specific electricity contract. Marketed by Mobilize, and designed in technological partnership with The Mobility House, this contract guarantees green electricity and enables the energy returned to the grid to be monetised thanks to the automated control of the bidirectional charge. On the one hand, users benefit from electricity at a rate that is as competitive as the reference market price, and on the other, they can earn income from the resale of the electricity. In France, for example, this income could cover up to 50% of the cost of home charging. The Mobilize V2G service will be available from the launch of the Renault 5 E-Tech electric in 2024 in France and Germany, and in 2025 in the UK.

Together with the various stakeholders in the Renault Group ecosystem – the Ampere and Software République entities, and of course the Renault brand and its network – Mobilize is taking a pivotal role in adding another dimension to the automobile. For the first time, with Renault 5 E-Tech electric, an individual vehicle is becoming a key player in our energy ecosystem. 

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V2G: the double impact of Mobilize Power two-way charge 

HIGHLIGHTS

V2G: the double impact of Mobilize Power two-way charge

Does Mobilize Power, V2G or Vehicle to Grid ring a bell? It’s an innovative bidirectional electric vehicle charging service that allows you to charge your car’s battery at home with clean energy, at the best possible rate, and then feed part of it back into the grid at peak times. This means great savings with the Mobilize electricity contract, while relieving the strain on the grid with carbon-free electricity. It’s a bit like the double impact of V2G technology.

  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition

how does V2G work?

Imagine yourself at the wheel of your new Renault 5 E-Tech electric, the first car in a long series to be compatible with the Mobilize Power V2G two-way charge service…

You calmly drive back home; you plug your Renault 5 into your Mobilize Powerbox charging point; you enter your next departure time and the level of charge you want on your smartphone application. And that’s it.

Now the Mobilize V2G double impact begins.

electric vehicle charging – a source of savings

The first impact is both very clever and very intelligent. 

Very clever because, as part of your contract, Mobilize supplies your car and your home with carbon-neutral energy, with the guarantee of halving the cost of recharging at home.  

Very intelligent because your car and your Mobilize Powerbox charging point are bidirectional. 

Without your battery ever falling below the minimum charge level you set, it allows the stored electricity to be fed back into your home and into the electricity grid, when there is a high demand for electricity. Mobilize resells this electricity at the best possible time, a good way of reducing your overall bill.  

This automatic “gesture” therefore earns you money.  

when charging your car develops green electricity

This automatic “gesture” is also good for the planet. 

This is the second Mobilize V2G impact, which is even cleverer and even more intelligent. 

Even cleverer because the electricity fed back into the grid is carbon-free. You’re relieving the grid with clean energy. 

Even more intelligent, because on the scale of a single car, this gesture is already significant: even more effective than switching off the lights at home or turning down your radiators by 1 degree. 

On the scale of 30,000 vehicles, you get the power of a medium-sized thermal power station. 

By 2035, tens of millions of electric vehicles will be on the road in Europe. A huge potential energy reserve! With V2G, the electric car becomes an opportunity for the electricity grid. 

Turning your own electric car into an energy reserve is possible…  

Mobilize Power is all about simplicity, prioritising your need for mobility at all times. The double impact is clear: you save money and the planet thanks you!

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switching commercial vehicles and heavy vehicles to electric: wholly designed recharging by Mobilize Power Solutions

GUIDEBOOK

switching commercial vehicles and heavy vehicles to electric: wholly designed recharging by Mobilize Power Solutions

Electricity is not just for private cars. Rechargeable battery technology is perfectly suited to larger vehicles and to professional use. As for the charging process, which is often carried out on the company’s premises, it is even less of a hassle in everyday life than diversions to the petrol station.

  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition

1) why opt for an electric van fleet?

It’s obvious! Worldwide, a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to transport. Road transport is not the only factor in this equation, since CO2 emissions from air and sea transport are increasing. Nevertheless, road transport still accounts for the majority.

Light commercial vehicles and trucks are responsible for over 40% of road transport CO2 emissions. On a per-vehicle basis, this represents a greater impact than that of passenger cars.

The electrification of road transport is a major lever for successfully decarbonising the sector and achieving the ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, set by the European Commission.

To achieve this, developing the possibilities for light commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles to recharge on tour is on the agenda. Between 2025 and 2030, charging corridors dedicated to these types of vehicles will be deployed across Europe, along major trunk roads, in accordance with the AFIR (Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation) adopted by the European Union. These charging stations will have the immense merit of reassuring professionals that the switch to electric vehicles will not prevent them from continuing their business. That will create favourable conditions for the gradual decarbonisation of their fleets, including for long-distance journeys.

2) how to ensure day-to-day charging of business vehicles?

While the recharging infrastructure planned by the public authorities will play a key role in the switch to electric energy for business vehicles, on-site recharging solutions already represent the first step towards decarbonising the fleet. On a daily basis, both business and private customers recharge their vehicles wherever they are parked for the longest period of time.

Why make a diversion to the petrol station at the end of your journey, when you quite simply come back to the company car park and plug in your vehicle?

This is particularly the case for a company that operates commercial vehicles and/or heavy goods vehicles. Depending on the type of vehicle and how it is used, it may be a good idea to install AC charging points for charging at night if the vehicles do not move during this time, or DC charging points if the vehicles need to be recharged quickly between 2 journeys.

3) driving electric: an enlightened choice

The benefits of electric mobility are clear, not only in terms of the environmental issues involved, but also because of the regulatory context. The purchase of an electric vehicle is encouraged by various incentives, often financial, while regulations are increasingly restrictive for users of polluting vehicles.

When it comes to use, too, driving an electric car proves worthwhile, whether because of the difference between the cost of electricity and the cost of fossil fuels, or thanks to less onerous mechanical maintenance compared with combustion-powered cars.

In order to maximise the economic benefits of choosing electric mobility, the car manufacturer partners of Mobilize, such as Renault for light commercial vehicles and Renault Trucks for heavy goods vehicles, and of course its charging specialist subsidiary – Mobilize Power Solutions – precisely analyse the current and future needs of the company: What type of vehicles does the business require? What loading volume or payload capacity? What battery versions or options to ensure the range to match the daily distances and breaks? Are the company’s market and customers’ expectations likely to change over the next few years, potentially changing its internal organisation, geographical locations, flows, etc.?

Based on this analysis, Mobilize Power Solutions offers a selection of services and equipment so that the company can benefit, directly on its site, from the most suitable recharging infrastructure.

Number and power of charging points, location of charging points, management of charging access, as well as various specific services to facilitate and optimise usage, etc. All aspects of recharging are covered.

 

4) optimum investment in on-site charging for commercial vehicles

As always, the key to good management lies in upstream analysis and anticipation, to make the right choices and reduce overall investment.

 

“By sizing the installation of chargepoints to current needs as well as planning their future development, several cost items can be reduced.”

Irina Khodossova – President, Mobilize Power Solutions France

 

First of all, connection to the distribution network is an expense to be considered if the electrical power available on site is not sufficient. Analysis of the charging cycles of commercial vehicles and lorries is a key factor in optimising or even eliminating this cost item.

Secondly, civil engineering works (trenches, foundations, etc.) can be significant. To limit these costs, the locations of future terminals must be carefully considered, in particular to ensure short connection distances. Locations are also chosen to accommodate vehicle circulation, parking and manoeuvring requirements, depending on the vehicle’s size, the presence of a potential trailer, the number of vehicles to be recharged at the same time, etc. The position of the socket on the bodywork and the length of cable required also play a part in determining the precise location of the charging points. Not forgetting to include the pre-equipment for future extensions upstream, to pool costs.

Another item not to be overlooked is electrical engineering work (cables, cable trays, electrical protection), which directly depends on the charging power and the distances between the connection point and the charging infrastructure. This amount will be all the more limited if the other items are calibrated to just what is needed.

Finally, investment in equipment should also be considered: charging points, but also electrical cabinets and even transformer substations. In this area, beware of preconceived ideas! A heavy goods vehicle does not necessarily need a high-power charging point. What’s needed is the right power for the job. For example, household waste skips usually make rounds of around 150 km a day and then remain parked for 8 to 10 consecutive hours. So 22 kW charging stations are perfectly adequate.

Savings are then substantial: the investment budget for a 22kW AC charging point is 10 times lower than that for a 150kW DC charging point, mainly because of the equipment cost.

On the other hand, if logistics flows require several vehicles in rotation and short recharging cycles, high-power recharging infrastructures (from 100 to 350 kW) are preferable. To reduce and smooth out the bill, financial aid from the public authorities is supplemented by Mobilize Power Solutions’ financing solutions, such as leasing or financial rental.

5) operating costs and energy budget under control

The mission of Mobilize Power Solutions’ experts doesn’t stop once the charging stations have been installed. They work with the company to control operating and maintenance expenses. These costs are optimised as soon as several vehicles can take it in turns to use the same charging point. A terminal may even become a source of income, if the professional who owns it provides access to a third party in return for a fee. The more chargepoints are accessible to a large number of vehicles, the more the ecosystem in which the company operates becomes electrified, encouraging synergies.

What about the electricity costs? Site managers have various ways of controlling their energy budget. Mobilize Powers Solutions analyses the actual energy consumption on the site (subscribed power, electricity consumption profile and observed peaks), estimates the energy requirements arising from the trucks’ and commercial vehicles’ operating needs, and proposes optimised technical solutions that can incorporate dynamic energy management and even the production of local renewable energy.

In short, the switch to electric light commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles makes sense from both an environmental and an economic point of view, and the issue of recharging is central to this. That’s why Mobilize Power Solutions is working with professionals, throughout Europe, taking a 360° view of their operational, financial and energy challenges.

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Mobilize Bento, the small van that’s changing the game

Mobilize presents Bento, its micro utility vehicle that is 100% electric, ultra-compact and equipped with a cargo box. Its playground is urban and suburban areas, where requirements in terms of environmental friendliness and space are increasing.

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Mobilize Bento, the small van that’s changing the game

mobilize bento
CHECK POINT

Mobilize Bento, the small van that’s changing the game

Mobilize presents Bento, its micro utility vehicle that is 100% electric, ultra-compact and equipped with a cargo box. Its playground is urban and suburban areas, where requirements in terms of environmental friendliness and space are increasing. Mobilize Bento is aimed at professional customers who need a vehicle that is agile, practical and safe. 

  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition

why Mobilize Bento?

Because it’s important to improve the quality of life in the city, to reduce car congestion, particularly in city centres, to reorganise space, indeed to reallocate it to residents (roads, car parks, etc.). Easy for Mobilize Bento! Ultra-compact at 2.54 metres long and 1.30 metres wide, it doesn’t clutter up public space.

Because cities are committed to reducing pollution and fighting climate change. Mobilize Bento is the 100% electric solution! With zero noise and zero tailpipe emissions, it also has the advantage of being able to access all restricted traffic zones.

Because we’re consuming differently, particularly through online shopping, with more and more home deliveries being made at short notice. With its rear box, Mobilize Bento is the ideal vehicle for last-mile deliveries in town.

Because we are increasingly in need of local and on-demand services. The Mobilize Bento box enables small goods or light equipment to be carried and accessed by professionals in areas such as maintenance, upkeep and personal services.

 

“Mobilize Bento provides a solution for professionals in the community services sector, in the heart of the city and its surrounding areas, so that they can drive with zero emissions and zero noise, circulate more freely and work with greater peace of mind.”

Laurence Béchon – Mobility services director, Mobilize

 

Have you noticed that box at the back, like a “rucksack”, which gives it its distinctive design? Mobilize Bento is a single-seater vehicle with lots of features.

electric

Mobilize Bento has a range of 140 kilometres, which makes it perfectly suited to urban and suburban use, with a speed of up to 80 km/h. Bento can be recharged using a standard (domestic) or type 2 plug and is therefore compatible with public and company charging points.

For added convenience and reassurance, the charging cable is fixed to the vehicle.

pratical

Mobilize Bento offers a useful load volume of 1m3, with a capacity of 700 litres in the closed box and 300 litres in the cabin. This practicality, combined with its compactness and agility, makes Bento perfectly suited to delivering goods and services in hyper-centres.

customisable

Professionals can personalise the bodywork and the box to make their Bento a real tool for promoting their name and expertise.

compact

Professionals can easily find parking, as Mobilize Bento takes up only half of a standard parking space. This saves a considerable amount of time and energy, when numerous studies show that finding a parking space can take up to 30 minutes a week!

connected

Mobilize Bento features native connectivity to make daily life and operations easier for professionals and to manage corporate fleets. The system provides real-time feedback on vehicle data such as battery charge, remaining range, mileage and location. Mobilize Bento’s “digital key”, which opens and starts the vehicle via smartphone, is useful for sharing vehicles within a team. Geolocation makes it possible to track Bento when it has changed user, or simply to find the place where it was parked. Finally, geofencing allows fleet managers to define a zone in which the use of the vehicle is authorised.

safe

Mobilize Bento comes with an airbag as standard, which is unique in the quadricycle segment. What’s more, the passenger compartment is completely enclosed by elytra doors.

confortable

Mobilize Bento focuses on on-board comfort. Starting with thermal convenience: the vehicle is equipped with an air conditioning system, as well as a heated seat and windscreen. The dashboard is designed to be as simple and intuitive as possible, allowing immediate familiarisation with the vehicle. It includes an instrument screen, gearbox controls, a loudspeaker and a smartphone holder. A USB-C port for recharging mobile phones.

robust

Mobilize Mobilize designs vehicles that are easy to use and maintain. On Mobilize Bento, the front and rear bumpers are the same. They can therefore be changed easily, which reduces costs and makes repairs quicker. Another example: a special plastic grain has been developed for the fascias and rocker panels to keep wear marks and scratches invisible. The interior is also easy to clean, with a simple wipe down.

 

Mobilize Bento, the single-seater, utility version of Mobilize Duo, packs maximum benefits into a minimum of space, offering tangible, useful benefits with a look that doesn’t take itself too seriously 

 

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Urbanisation is a fundamental trend that no region of the world seems to be escaping.

do cars still belong in the city?

LEVEL UP

do cars still belong in the city?

Fueled by climate concerns, cities are undergoing a transformation. And, quite frankly, cars don’t always seem to fit into the equation. This is primarily due to decarbonisation goals, which make internal combustion engines incompatible with European ambitions. Also, the surge in sustainable mobility options means there’s a need for a redistribution of traffic space among various modes of transportation. So, how can we find a new role for the car? The answer in three steps…

  • electric vehicle
  • shared mobility

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scrapping the most polluting vehicles

The issue with cars primarily revolves around greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and the release of fine particles, which the World Health Organization associates with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. So, it’s the type of engines that needs to be addressed rather than the vehicles themselves. Implementing ‘Zones à faible émission‘ (LEZ) in France, ‘Low Emission Zones’ in the UK, or ‘Zona a Traffico Limitato‘ (ZTL) in Italy has proven to be an effective regulatory response. By excluding the most polluting vehicles, city centers can breathe easier. In historic city centers where cars often struggle to navigate, multimodal solutions offer alternatives like biking, walking, or using small electric vehicles in place of cars. For instance, in 2007, banning cars from the city center of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, led to a remarkable 70% reduction in carbon emissions1 and restored the pleasure of leisurely strolls through its charming streets. In this context, every initiative is worth exploring, and cities should remain open testbeds for experimenting with innovative mobility solutions.

★ ★ ☆
encouraging urban space sharing

Cars need to adapt to sharing the road with other modes of transportation like public transit and bicycles. As a result, cars are becoming more tailored to specific uses. The key is to foster harmonious sharing of space while keeping in mind the unique characteristics of each city. For example, a hilly city like Zurich can hardly be compared to Amsterdam. Implemented in countries like Switzerland, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and Austria, the concept of a ‘zone de rencontre‘ (meeting zone) reconciles all modes of transport by sharing the road at a limited speed for vehicles. Other systems, like ‘zones 30‘, operate on the same principle of calm driving to promote coexistence among all urban space users. Another approach is the ‘vélorue‘ (bike street), which prioritises cyclists, and is particularly popular in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark. Lastly, space sharing can also be temporal, depending on the time of day (morning deliveries, public transit during rush hours, vehicles the rest of the time) or the season (cars in winter, pedestrians in summer). The key is to share equitably.

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adapting cars to the new urban landscape

While cities aim to move away from a ‘car-centric’ approach, automobiles are also taking steps to adapt to urban life.

First and foremost, they are becoming more environmentally friendly. In this regard, the rapid electrification of the automotive fleet is leading the way. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association2, electric vehicles accounted for 21.6% of registrations in the EU in 2022, compared to 10.5% in 2020.

They are also being shared more through car-sharing programs, for which an increasing number of cities are offering dedicated spaces.

Moreover, they offer greater flexibility. Short-term rental systems, allowing you to match the size and use of the vehicle to your immediate needs, promote more efficient resource utilisation.

Lastly, they are becoming increasingly connected. Analysing data transmitted by vehicles helps in monitoring traffic conditions, congestion zones, and parking spaces. This integration enables cars to navigate traffic with greater ease and serenity.

For all these reasons, automobiles have their place in the city, just like other modes of transportation. Both are undergoing profound transformations to ensure that no one is left by the wayside. Mobilize, a Renault Group brand, is actively engaged in this journey, offering a comprehensive ecosystem of solutions for achieving carbon-neutral mobility.

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Ankinee Kirakozian explains how nudges can “effectively change individuals’ environmental preferences”

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Ankinee Kirakozian explains how nudges can “effectively change individuals’ environmental preferences”

Ankinee Kirakozian holds a Ph.D. in economics and is an associate researcher at BETA (Bureau d’Économie Théorique et Appliquée) [Bureau of theoretical and applied economics]. Her work bridges environmental economics and behavioural economics. Recently, she collaborated on the [Imp]²ulce project, a large-scale experiment conducted in partnership with Lucile Janssoone from Réseau Alliances and Noémie Rogeau from 2R Aventure. The project’s goal was to assess the impact of nudges on sustainable mobility. She shared her insights on the topic with Mobilize.

  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition

First of all, what is a nudge?

“A good nudge should preserve an individual’s freedom of choice and avoid using manipulative tactics.”

In a literal sense, the term “nudge” refers to a gentle push or a subtle prod.

In essence, a nudge is a tool designed to alter one’s perception of a situation. Based on this shift in perception, the individual is free to decide whether or not to change his or her behaviour. It entails modifying the choice framework presented to an individual in a given situation. By introducing new options for decision-making, a company, a public policymaker, or even an individual can encourage decisions that align with desirable outcomes. A good nudge should preserve an individual’s freedom of choice and avoid using manipulative tactics. A famous real-world example is the urban ashtray designed as a ballot box. Initially developed in England, it invited smokers to cast their vote for Messi or Ronaldo when disposing of their cigarette butts. This device captures individuals’ attention by reshaping their perception of the situation, motivating them to engage in environmentally friendly behaviour.

Regarding mobility, what types of nudges can be applied?

Nudges are built on the understanding that our decision-making isn’t always grounded in perfect rationality but is influenced by cognitive biases. Among the various behavioural biases, we’ve explored several in the [Imp]²ulce project. For instance, we examined the “loss aversion” bias. A nudge based on this bias involves highlighting the potential loss—whether it be financial, in terms of time, or related to health—that individuals might incur if they continue the same behaviour. In general, people tend to be more averse to the risk of losing something than to the prospect of gaining it. One study even found that the emotional pain of losing €1,000 is twice as strong as the joy of winning the same amount. Another significant psychological bias is the “moral appeal,” which reminds individuals that their behaviour contributes to addressing issues like climate change or public infrastructure. This nudge can be criticised as moralising. Then there’s the “social norm” bias, perhaps the most well-known nudge among the general public. It’s often used in matters of energy consumption or waste sorting. For instance, comparing a household’s energy consumption to the average consumption of their peers on an energy bill is a typical application of this nudge. In the context of mobility, this might involve rating the environmental impact of employees’ commuting choices or the usage distribution of different mobility options. We also experimented with the “presentation change” bias, which means presenting familiar information in a more playful manner through gamification.

Why are nudges important for mobility?

“Policymakers and businesses need to pay special attention to nudges that stimulate loss aversion”

Answering this question requires careful consideration. Not all nudges are effective; they are not all promising. In our study, we found that only moral appeals, loss aversion, and the combination of the two had a positive impact on behaviour change in transportation. Among these, loss aversion was the most powerful. This shows that policymakers and businesses need to pay special attention to nudges that stimulate loss aversion, especially if they want to promote alternative modes of transportation. We also found that exposure to “moral appeal” nudges must be long enough to maximize their effects and reach a broader audience. This runs counter to the practices commonly seen in communities today, where the majority of initiatives are relatively short-term experiments lasting only two, three, or four weeks. We also found that the impact of nudges persists over time, meaning we can effectively change individuals’ environmental preferences. This differs from measures like taxes, for example, which generate a price-related response but don’t have a lasting effect once the tax is removed. From this perspective, nudges show great promise. However, it’s important to exercise caution because, out of the six nudges we tested, three did not produce the desired effects in our experiment, including social comparison, which is commonly used for behaviours related to energy consumption, water usage, or waste recycling.

What are the limitations of nudges?

Unlike conventional financial instruments, we can’t say that a nudge is effective in all contexts. Such policies need to be localised and tested, and may not necessarily be replicable from one region to another. People have different cultures and may have different responses to the same biases. Given the low cost of nudges compared to subsidies or reward mechanisms, we achieve very interesting effects at a lower cost, but we can’t always scale them up. As an economist, I believe that nudging is a valuable complementary tool to traditional incentive policies, but it cannot replace them.

For Mobilize, the use of nudges is a promising avenue. They prove to be potent allies in steering behaviours towards carbon neutrality. When used correctly, they become powerful tools in combating solo car use and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. In situations where a car is unnecessary, they can encourage choices in favor of sustainable mobility or public transportation. In a broader sense, they help showcase a spectrum of mobility alternatives that Mobilize champions: options that are more sustainable, accessible, and affordable.

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2040: What if driving were more affordable?

WHAT IF…

2040: What if driving were more affordable?

The prospect of a more affordable car seems counterintuitive. In 2022, fuel prices hit record highs, sparking protests in over 90 countries1. The prices of both new and used vehicles are also soaring. Regulators, in their efforts to reduce automotive emissions, are rolling out various measures, from urban or road tolls to environmental taxes and low-emission zones. These measures can all lead to increased usage costs, and cars already represent the third-largest2 expense for households in Europe. When you add rising parking fees and maintenance costs to the equation, it could result in cars becoming too expensive for a significant portion of the population, a luxury for a privileged few.

  • electric vehicle
  • shared mobility

Nevertheless, several signs suggest a more optimistic outlook. With a shift towards prioritising usage over ownership, the rise of new sharing models, and ongoing improvements in electric vehicle efficiency, there’s potential for the automobile to reinvent itself as a more cost-effective option..

indicator #1 – Insurance adapts to vehicle usage

The way we use cars is changing. It’s becoming less routine, more shared, and integrated into multi-modal systems, diverging from the traditional one-size-fits-all insurance policies. In this context, mileage-based insurance, known as ‘pay as you drive’ (PAYD), is ushering in a small revolution. It tailors insurance to actual vehicle usage. Additionally, ‘pay how you drive’ (PHYD) insurance is emerging, adjusting premiums based on driving behavior to reward cautious drivers.

In collaboration with Accenture, Mobilize Insurance embraces this approach and provides solutions tailored to the intricacies of today’s mobility landscape.

indicator #2 – Electric mobility goes mainstream

Today, electrification presents a two-sided coin for motorists’ wallets. Electric vehicles come with a significantly higher upfront cost (over 20%3 more in the United States), but electric charging is more economical than filling up with petrol, especially when you have access to it at home or at your workplace. According to France Stratégie4, the savings in operating costs amount to €1,200 per year for an electric car, making it profitable within six years, factoring in current incentives in France.

Meanwhile, manufacturers are investing heavily in innovation to reduce the production cost of electric vehicles. This is a key objective for Renault Group through its subsidiary, Ampère. By optimising software architecture integration, reducing parts diversity, and achieving a production time of under 10 hours per vehicle, the Group aims to slash the cost per vehicle by 40%!

mobilite-democratise

indicator #3: Car sharing and cost sharing

According to McKinsey, the European car-sharing market could be worth between 4 and 5 billion euros by 2030. Based on ADEME5 data, France currently has 12,000 active car-sharing vehicles and 300,000 regular users. Additionally, carpooling accounts for 4% of daily commutes. This trend offers numerous advantages: it promotes more efficient use of vehicles that often sit idle, reduces the automotive industry’s land footprint amid ‘Zero Net Artificialisation’6 goals, and substantially cuts emissions from the sector while trimming individual travel costs. Today, this is embodied in services like Zity by Mobilize or Mobilize Share, which simplify car sharing (among individuals or in businesses) and offer quick vehicle rentals.

micro-voitures

indicator #4 – The rise (finally) of microcars?

In the midst of the ongoing debate regarding vehicle size, a trend towards microcars might be on the horizon to cater to specific needs. While often seen as novelties (one can’t help but think of Paul Arzen’s famous “egg”), microcars could soon become a familiar sight in our urban environments. Electric, lightweight, eco-friendly, and purpose-built for city life, these minuscule automobiles also offer the advantage of affordability.

A survey7 conducted by McKinsey reveals that a majority of individuals interested in ‘minimobility’ have moderate to low incomes. In this context, the Mobilize Duo and Bento micro-vehicles, designed for passengers and small cargo transportation respectively, are poised to make a splash. Set to launch in 2024, they occupy just one-third of a parking space, have access to low emission zones (ZFE)8, are made with 50% recycled materials, and are available through subscription!

indicator #5 – More than just a car

Electric vehicles may soon transcend their traditional role as mere transportation. With the advancement of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technologies, they will serve as supplementary batteries for the grid. Behind the V2G acronym lies a promising technology. Through bidirectional charging, vehicles will recharge when electricity is inexpensive and demand is low. Conversely, during peak demand periods, cars can inject unused energy back into the grid, contributing to grid stability. This presents an opportunity to generate extra income by selling this surplus electricity to grid operators.

While we anticipate the launch of V2G on upcoming Renault E-Tech models, the Mobilize Smart Charge app already empowers you to manage your vehicle’s charging, starting it when electricity is cheapest and stopping it when prices rise!

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are data the key to sustainable mobility?

WHAT IF…

are data the key to sustainable mobility?

At the heart of the mobility ecosystem, our cars have evolved to manage our journeys. Data flows through the core of this function, supporting us on the road, in the city and in our travels. This data can become a crucial element in terms of preventive maintenance, repair, and predictive assistance. What if the collected data were used for more than just a driving aid? What if it were the key to maintaining infrastructure and vehicles in a more sustainable way?

  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition

As cars become more connected, they’re increasingly resembling rolling smartphones. They share the same functionalities, employ the same onboard technologies, and possess the same abilities to interact with our digital environments, measure performance, guide us, and assist us in our daily lives. Nowadays, these conveniences hardly surprise most people, which tends to overshadow the fact that, much like smartphones, cars serve as breeding grounds for technological innovation. Gradually, they’ve transformed into interfaces between drivers and the road, capable of adapting to driving habits, providing traffic updates, suggesting the quickest routes to the supermarket, or directing the driver to available charging stations. And this is just the beginning. At the heart of this ecosystem lies the ever-expanding world of data.

cars as giant scanners

The ever-expanding capabilities of artificial intelligence have helped develop new ways in which vehicles can assist us in our journeys, especially when it comes to road safety. Just imagine the possibilities of a vehicle constantly scanning its surroundings and instantly feeding that information into a road database. By overlaying datasets collected by vehicles on the road, it becomes relatively straightforward, through computer analysis, to identify any changes or irregularities in road conditions. This is a game-changer for urban planners aiming to improve traffic flow in cities. Moreover, it allows for the creation of a comprehensive map detailing the state of a country’s road infrastructure, greatly facilitating maintenance efforts by enabling proactive repairs before road quality deteriorates. Europe alone has over 70,000 kilometers of roads to monitor and maintain, particularly for its highway network. The annual cost of road infrastructure maintenance is estimated at a staggering 100 billion euros for OECD1 countries. This highlights a critical economic concern.

roads as warning systems

On the flip side, the growing army of sensors now embedded in our infrastructure opens up the possibility of a ‘smart road’ capable of analysing and providing real-time updates on the condition of the vehicles using it. This could mean spotting drowsy driving risks, much like how we currently receive alerts about conditions such as roadwork or heavy traffic. It might even foresee a potential mechanical issue in a vehicle and notify the driver before it turns into a major breakdown. This is another step toward the concept of predictive maintenance, where data analysis becomes a powerful tool for anticipation—essentially, preventing issues rather than dealing with them afterward. From the perspective of vehicles, tapping into this data also offers a way to provide tailored maintenance recommendations for each driver’s vehicle or to continually assess the wear and tear status of an entire fleet of automobiles in real-time. This enables efficient scheduling of maintenance and repairs while ensuring a better distribution of workload among repair shops and dealerships.

route-alerte

using visualisation to create (greater) awareness

In the world of data management, it’s often said that we can only effectively manage what we can measure. The true value of the data we collect lies in its ability to easily translate into tangible indicators. This data becomes a precious resource for evaluating how each car is individually used. This level of personalisation opens up new possibilities, especially in the realm of insurance, where policies can be tailored to align with the actual number of kilometers driven or the driving habits of each motorist, potentially leading to reduced premiums for safe drivers. Moreover, the positive impact of having an indicator on each vehicle’s dashboard, promoting awareness and encouraging responsible driving practices, cannot be underestimated.

digital twin to the rescue!

The ability to model data is a trump card that’s currently ushering in the era of digital twins. Many industries are delving into this concept, which involves creating a virtual representation of an object or system capable of responding based on the data it receives. It’s like having a kind of magical avatar that allows us to conduct a wide range of experiments to gain a better understanding of their real-world implications, all while avoiding the associated risks. From environmental predictions to simulating industrial scenarios, testing the resilience of complex systems, exploring interactive behaviors, or diagnosing wear and tear, the potential applications of this concept are still evolving.

jumeau-numerique

massive data and the circular economy

When applied to the world of automobiles, this digital twin concept is revolutionising our understanding of how each vehicle behaves throughout its entire life cycle. It allows for targeted interventions at just the right time and place, such as repairing a worn-out part instead of replacing an entire unit, or even optimising battery lifespan and recycling used batteries. The underlying idea is clear: prevention is better than cure. Now, imagine that every spare part can be easily identified and tracked. Data then becomes the driving force behind a circular economy, encouraging material recovery and reuse. This becomes even more powerful when integrated with blockchain technology, ensuring the authenticity and complete history of each component. From an industrial standpoint, the thorough analysis of this micro-data helps identify parts or systems prone to premature wear and tear. This, in turn, leads to continuous improvements in manufacturing processes, design quality, and, ultimately, the reliability of vehicles. It’s all about modeling, projection, and traceability, with data emerging as a vital ally in fostering sustainable maintenance practices.

virtual universes for real-world repairs

One of the remarkable aspects of data is its versatility, allowing it to easily adapt to various forms. This adaptability has led to its close relationship with virtual worlds, a realm that the automotive industry couldn’t resist embracing. By combining individual vehicle data, 3D modeling, and remote assistance, virtual or augmented reality headsets become intriguing tools for a ‘hands-on’ approach to maintenance. This approach allows technicians to dive deep into the vehicle’s systems, identifying anomalies and potential issues, all while providing remote diagnostics. Even more impressively, drivers themselves could take direct action based on these remote recommendations. It translates to saved time, fewer trips, and, ultimately, cost savings.

towards an abundance of services

From driving tips to ‘self-service’ repairs and optimised maintenance schedules to personalised mobility offerings, innovations driven by data—or more precisely, its smart utilisation—are plentiful. Many, perhaps, are yet to be unveiled. Beyond providing the enhanced driving experiences and safety we’ve now come to expect, this data also opens up opportunities in the realms of prevention and maintenance. Digital data unveils what often eludes the naked eye within the intricate world of mobility: the countless interactions between a vehicle, its driver, and the road. As a result, it has the potential to become paramount in ensuring the overall performance of the ecosystem… while allowing drivers to relish the pure pleasure of being behind the wheel.

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car-share: a promising new form of mobility

HIGHLIGHTS

car-share: a promising new form of mobility

When it comes to mobility, particularly in urban areas, alternatives to the private car are multiplying. These new forms of mobility are often seen as a way of freeing ourselves from car ownership and its attendant constraints. 

  • electric vehicle
  • shared mobility

car sharing has many faces

Car sharingprovides users withvehicles on a self-service basis, 24/7for the duration and destination of their choice. There are several types of car sharing. 

Closed-loop: the vehicle is returned to the departure station or even to a dealership, as is the case with the Mobilize Share service.  

Direct trace: the vehicle is returned to a station that may be different from the one from which it left.  

These two types of car sharing require prior reservation. 

Free-floating: the vehicle is parked on the street. It can be borrowed without reservation and returned to any on-street parking space within the geographical area covered by the service operator. The customer geolocates the vehicle using a dedicated smartphone application. Free-floating car-sharing is particularly suited to large cities.Zity by Mobilize is an example of free-floating car-sharing in Madrid, Lyon and Milan. 

In addition to these three forms of car-sharing, there is also car-sharing between private individuals, often facilitated by a car-sharing platform. 

car sharing and shared mobility meet their target audience

Car sharing is a growth sector, despite a pause in growth in 2020 and 2021 at the time of the health crisis, despite systematic measures to disinfect vehicles. There are around 50,000 shared vehicles in Europe, mainly in 5 countries, including 18,500 in Germany and 12,000 in France.

Of course, if you add in self-service scooters and bicycles, the figures explode. There are almost 400,000 shared mobility devices in Europe, more than half of which are scooters. Berlin and Paris have the highest volume, with a density of around 100 shared ‘vehicles’ per 10,000 inhabitants. Oslo, however, takes the prize for density, with 400 shared cars, bikes or scooters per 10,000 inhabitants.

car sharing, car hire, car-pooling… the differences are clear

Traditional car hire is based on handing over the keys to the car via an agency. Car sharing, on the other hand, makes the vehicle available on a self-service basis. This makes it particularly flexible. The car sharing service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for journeys lasting from a few minutes to several days. Mobilize Share is an example of a service that is positioned both in traditional car rental, thanks to the density of the Renault network’s geographical coverage, which offers a large number of pick-up and drop-off points, and in closed-loop car sharing. 

Car pooling, on the other hand, resembles private car sharing, with the difference that the owner of the car and the “car pooler” make the same journey and that the owner of the vehicle drives. Carpooling is organised directly between private individuals or via a platform. It can be used for daily commuter journeys or longer exceptional journeys. Carpooling is a real success thanks to its economical nature. The passenger’s financial contribution is a participation in the costs of using and maintaining the vehicle. In France, it is now estimated that the number of carpooling journeys will increase more than 3-fold between 2022 and 2023, representing almost 0.9% of car journeys. 

car sharing, for who and what?

An Ademe survey dating from 2022 in France shows that closed-loop car sharing is the most widespread, both in terms of the number of operators and territorial coverage. On average, it concerns journeys of less than 5 hours and less than 50 kilometres. For free-floating car sharing, rentals are shorter, averaging less than 1 hour and less than 20 kilometres. But what really differs are the usages. Closed-loop car sharing is usedfornon-constrained or even recreational purposes, whereas free-floating car sharing is more often used for everyday journeys. In both cases, these journeys are mainly made within the city of residence. 

Another interesting fact is that the use of car sharing within a household coincides for almost 70% with the abandonment of car ownership, otherwise known as ‘demotorisation’. Today, only26% of‘car-sharers’ own a car. As a result, they are more inclined to use public transport and soft mobility than the average population. Is demotorisation the consequence of car sharing, or is car sharing the consequence of demotorisation? One thing is certain: the most emblematic car sharing customer resides in a city that offers nearby centres of interest that are relatively close to each other and to homes, that provides practical alternatives to the car, such as public transport or cycle paths, and that even discourages the use of certain vehicles by restricting traffic, reducing parking facilities, etc. 

However, car sharing is just as likely to apply to users outside built-up areas, thanks in particular to the private use of fleets of business vehicles, as well as the availability of vehicles at shop exits… Many possibilities are already being explored and are only waiting to be developed. 

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