mobilize logo mobilize logo

employees, the new migrating birds

podcast mobilize
OPEN WORLD

employees, the new migrating birds

(podcast in French)
  • energy transition
  • shared mobility

Podcast Mobilize

00:00
 / 
00:00
.
00:00
-10s
+10s

Current challenges require from us an optimization of the resources that we have at our disposal. At the top of the list: professional vehicles, the use of which can be greatly improved. In this context, business leaders have access to new partners who help them find new uses for their fleets. What are the major trends in terms of this mobility, facing environmental issues and different needs in the professional field ?

Virginie Boutueil, Deputy Director of the Laboratoire Ville Mobilité Transport (Ecole des Ponts ParisTech), and Guillaume Naegelen, Head of Mobilize Share at Mobilize, explore with you the new habits of these multimodal employees.

Intervention of Virginie Boutueil, Deputy Director of the Laboratoire Ville Mobilité Transport (Ecole des Ponts ParisTech):

What are the main trends in professional mobility?

If we focus more specifically on the question of corporate car fleets, there are some major issues to be positioned and this can be done, for example, on the French scale, which is an interesting case study. In France, company car fleets represent about 15%-16% of the total fleet of light vehicles, i.e. the total fleet in circulation, but when we say that, we must not forget that insofar as these vehicles are used particularly intensively compared to other vehicles owned by households, for example, these 15%-16% of the fleet become 25% of the kilometres travelled by light vehicles and 25%-30% of the greenhouse gas emissions of the fleet of light vehicles in circulation in France.

In fact, we are dealing with a fleet with significant environmental and energy impacts. We are also dealing with a fleet with significant social impacts. Insofar as these mobilities are intensive, there are problems of accidentology, travel safety, fatigue for the employees concerned and, finally, there are major economic impacts because in a large number of companies, and in particular large companies, but not only, mobility and car fleets in mobility represent the third largest item of expenditure after salaries and property.

These companies have perceived the changes taking place in terms of regulations and then the changes caused by climate change and the public health problems associated with local pollution. Companies positioned themselves quite early on to diversify the motorisation of their fleets, notably by introducing electric vehicles into their fleets, but also other types of motorisation: natural gas vehicles, more recently and to a more limited extent hydrogen, etc.

We are dealing with fleets that are renewed relatively quickly compared to the fleets of French households and therefore, for the public authorities, these are fleets that are interesting because they constitute a lever for the dissemination of these innovations, namely electric vehicles and other vehicles with alternative engines, in the wider French car fleet, i.e. these are vehicles that, after having been used for two, three or four years by companies, will find themselves on the second-hand vehicle market and therefore, at the disposal of French households in particular, and therefore, will facilitate the dissemination of these vehicles among French households.

Why is it important to highlight occupational categories when talking about mobility?

Work-related mobility, in general, is an important part of our daily mobility. To talk about home-to-work mobility alone, home-to-work mobility represents just over 20% of total travel in France. Three quarters of these journeys are made by car, and so we are dealing with a significant part of the environmental and energy challenges of transport.

When we carried out a study a few years ago on “What was the typical profile of households equipped with company cars in Île-de-France? for example, we realised that the most represented household profile was a high-income household, a multi-motorised household, a household living in an urban area, and a household with a head aged between 35 and 55.

This being said, what we must not overlook is that 40%, i.e. almost half of the households equipped with company cars in the Ile-de-France region, are households of intermediate or working class socio-professional category. And here, we have another profile, if I may say so, of company vehicles which is emerging, which is that of the vehicle of the maintenance technician, the building worker, the sales representative, the tool vehicle which, of course, in certain cases, can be used for home-work journeys and can, in certain cases, also be used for private mobility, but in a much more limited way than for the company vehicle I was talking about at the beginning, that is to say, the vehicle of the manager or the upper socio-professional categories.

Keeping in mind the diversity of the professions and socio-professional categories concerned by these company cars allows us to avoid a certain number of shortcuts concerning the use made of them, concerning the possibility of switching to other means of transport for the people concerned.

What about companies that provide cars to their employees today? Would you say that there are changes?

There are changes. There are changes of various kinds, if I may say so. Especially in times of crisis, but even before the current crisis in energy prices, in global trade, companies had undertaken to rationalise the costs associated with their fleets. Rationalisation meant both, in terms of company vehicles, trying to reduce ‘car policies’ to more reasonable levels in terms of, for example, vehicle size and emissions, with significant gains in terms of taxation for the companies concerned.

There were also efforts to rationalise the fleet of service vehicles, with, in particular, the beginnings of pooling of vehicles which, beforehand, were perhaps more directly assigned to a particular department or unit. Pooling, or even internal company car-sharing. These are developments that we have been seeing for about ten years in France and which are accelerating.

There are other developments, in particular the introduction, and here again in an accelerated way over the last few years, of vehicles with alternative engines, in particular to reduce the operating costs, i.e. some of these vehicles can represent higher investment costs for the companies, but companies, when they allocate them to the appropriate uses, can find themselves financially better off by acquiring more expensive vehicles, because the operating costs, and in particular the energy costs, but not only the insurance costs, the maintenance costs are more advantageous.

As we know, the digital revolution is largely transforming mobility. For your part, have you observed many new uses thanks to new mobilities and new services? And can we expect an acceleration and new platforms in the future?

The changes underway in professional mobility must be seen in the broader context of changes in everyday mobility in France, Europe and the world. One of the transformations at work is the multiplication of digital platforms for shared mobility, particularly shared mobility services, whether they be taxis, VTCs, car-sharing services, carpooling services, and therefore trip-sharing services, backed up by smartphone applications, for example.

The City Mobility Transport Laboratory has set up a global observatory of digital shared mobility platforms which shows that in three years, simply by looking at 2019-2021, the number of these digital shared mobility platforms in the world has tripled. This is a phenomenon led by Europe and the United States, but in which the major emerging countries play a very important role and in which a lot of developing countries are also involved.

What is interesting is that beyond the somewhat traditional shared mobility services that I have just mentioned: taxi, VTC, vehicle sharing, whether car, bicycle, scooter, etc., what we have seen developing more rapidly in the last few years is car sharing, on the one hand, but also the services that the Americans call “alternative transport services”.

This means “alternative transport services to public transport”, i.e. transport on demand, shuttle services with a quality of service that has been greatly improved by the use of digital applications and that make new developments possible in terms of mobility to get to work in the morning, to get to clients during the day, etc., including in areas where public transport with capacity: the RER, the metro and even the bus, do not make sense because they would not have sufficient capacity.

In these segments of mobility services: transport on demand, transport by shuttle, shared taxi, mini-bus taxi, which are very fast-growing segments in a number of developing countries, in particular, we could see interesting and favourable developments in our developed countries, in cities and in the countryside, as a result of these new applications.

Intervention of Guillaume Naegelen, Head of Mobilize Share at Mobilize:

The transformation of the mobility sector is a fact, but would you say that it is linked to changes in consumer expectations or to the diversification of offers, particularly thanks to digital technology?

This evolution comes from both and finally, if we look at it a little, there are four major factors that we have been able to identify that are changing the way we consume mobility. The first is the environmental factor, where we clearly realise that people are increasingly sensitive to this issue, both the general public and companies, which are increasingly being asked to decarbonise their employees’ journeys. We could mention, for example, the mobility plan, which is the former company travel plan.

Another factor which is making this mobility evolve is the societal factor, in particular, which we can see through Covid, which has led to the emergence of teleworking and therefore, has created alternating rhythms between presence at home and presence in the workplace. If we look at a little bit here, there is a TraCov survey which was carried out in France which shows that in 2019, about 4% of workers will be teleworking and then, in 2021, we will reach 27%. These are years that have been somewhat disrupted by Covid, so it will be interesting to see how the figures evolve, but in any case, there is a long-term trend.

Another important factor is the economic factor. As a general rule, everyone looks at the cost of travel, including individuals, and this was very well illustrated in the previous podcast, which showed that the cost of travel is a major factor in the choice of mobility. This economic factor can also be found within companies, and it remains an important PI case for a fleet manager to control and optimise the cost of employee travel.

Then, the last point is the technological factor. Today, the smartphone is everywhere. We use it to communicate, we use it to make purchases, we use it to use public transport, we use it to get information. Once again, there is this trend of “everything, immediately, everywhere”. In particular, we see the concept of “ATAWAD”, which stands for “Any time, anywhere, any device”, which I think reflects quite well the way in which we use these digital tools, i.e. anytime, anywhere and on any device, i.e. with our phone, with our computer. In any case, technology is clearly part of the way we live from now on and therefore we have to adapt to these factors, adapt our offers to meet these different needs and this evolution of mobility.

To what extent is this transformation also accelerated by environmental concerns?

This environmental factor is preponderant and at Mobilize, in any case, we are completely convinced of this, more than a conviction, that it is a necessity, in the end. The genesis of the creation of this brand is to be an activist brand that wants to play a role in optimising the carbon impact of our travel by bringing together the best of technology, engineering, design and finance to offer a more sustainable mobility.

This environmental factor is very important and when we talk to our clients, in this case companies, who also have these mobility problems, we realise that we are clearly in the same situation. Companies have a double objective today, which is to reduce the carbon impact of travel, and this desire is also being pushed by the public authorities, and at the same time to optimise the costs of this travel. Of course, this switch to electric vehicles and to optimising their use will raise a lot of questions: questions about recharging, questions about the installation of charging stations, questions about car-sharing technologies, etc., and that’s where we want to position ourselves to help companies in this transition, through solutions that are adapted to their own context.

In this episode we talk about migratory employees, i.e. people who work using several modes of transport. Do you think this could be more than a trend, especially in the context of Covid?

Clearly, yes. As we were saying, Covid has changed the way we work and the way we travel. Today, I think there is still a balance to be found. We can see, moreover, that there is quite a lot of heterogeneity in the way telework is done in Europe. If we look at the figures, I came across a Eurostat statistic which shows that in 2020, a disturbed year because we had two phases of confinement, but nevertheless, in 2020, on one side of the spectrum we had the UK which had about 5% of its population teleworking and then, on the other side, Finland which had 25% of its population teleworking.

We realise that there is quite a lot of heterogeneity within countries, which pushes us to propose flexible solutions and in any case, which will allow us to adapt to the contexts in which we deploy them. Besides that, telework has brought a lot of positive points which suggest that it is much more than a trend. Some of these include a better life/life balance, spending less time in transport, more time with family or simply being able to live further away.

This private life/life balance, we also see that the periods of confinement, they have finally shown that telework works. There is an institute, the Sapiens Institute, which carried out a study in 2020, which shows that the teleworking phases have enabled an increase of 22% in productivity. Once again, this was a rather exceptional year, so I don’t know if we should take these figures as they are, but in any case, we realise that telework works and this is a rather positive point of these periods.

This trend of telework is a fundamental one, in the sense that it is in everyone’s interest, but also in the interest of companies which will be able, for example, to reduce the amount of land they have in their buildings, with people alternating between time spent in the office and time spent at home. They will also be able to increase their attractiveness in terms of human resources, by recruiting people who live further away. Teleworking now allows people to live much further away from their place of work. It is really the idea of saying that there is both an interest from the point of view of employees and also an interest from the point of view of companies, a sort of win-win situation which suggests that this is a phenomenon which will last for a long time. It has yet to find its balance, but it is more than a passing trend.

How can Mobilize respond to these new mobility challenges?

I would say in several ways. Generally speaking, by being present on the entire value chain, to be able to offer solutions that are complete and packaged, i.e. for a company, electrified vehicles, accompanied by the installation of charging stations, accompanied by roaming charging solutions, vehicles that can also be… We were talking about electric vehicles, but vehicles that can also be adapted to different types of use and vehicle sharing solutions, what we could call corporate car sharing, which will allow employees to share a vehicle.

Perhaps more specifically, with Mobilize Share. Mobilize Share, which, in a few words, is one of the mobility solutions deployed by Mobilize and operated by the dealer network. Today, there are about 1,000 dealerships in nearly 10 countries, with just over 16,000 vehicles. Here, we rely on the dealer network which, in addition to being a local player, who knows its environment, will be able to adapt the mobility offers according to this context and the needs which are identified on its territory, both for private individuals and professionals.
It is really by being in contact with these local companies that it will be able to adapt the solution to the needs of that company. Today we talk much more about multimodality, i.e.: is it still relevant to have a vehicle, when our mobility needs vary between, sometimes, a utility vehicle, sometimes a private vehicle, sometimes a city car, sometimes a vehicle that is more road-oriented and then, sometimes for a few hours, or even a few days, or even a few weeks? This is where we really realise that we need to adapt our solutions to the local context, so who better to do this than the dealer, who is spread across the territory and knows the specificities of this local context?

When a company uses Mobilize Share to share its pool of vehicles with its employees, the employee will use this application to reserve his vehicle for private or professional use, and the employee will use the same application if he wishes to use vehicles located, for example, at Nice station, to continue his professional journey. In other words, they have the choice of either taking vehicles located within their company or using multimodality and travelling by train to their destination and finishing their journey using a Mobilize Share vehicle, which will be the same application, once again, as the one they use for their company vehicles, to complete their journey and go to their client’s home or destination.

What about projects abroad?

Today, Mobilize is already a brand of the international Renault group. If I take the example of Mobilize Share, which we talked about, as I said, it is deployed in nearly 10 countries, and about 1,000 dealers are currently using or deploying this solution on their territory. We are mainly present in Europe, in Latin America, with Colombia and Brazil.

If I take the example of Brazil, Renault Brazil began in 2019 to deploy car-sharing solutions through this Mobilize Share solution, initially for its employees, for professional use, and quickly realised that there was a particular desire to deploy this use on a personal basis as well, i.e. in the evening, at the weekend, when these vehicles are not used for professional needs.

Very quickly, there was a strong interest with a distribution of use which was intended to be 50/50 between professional and personal use and finally, Brazil used its personal experience through the Renault employees to propose this solution to other companies. Today, more than 1,400 employees use this solution and it contributes to what we said at the beginning, the work/life balance and to having solutions which are complete and which will allow, afterwards, to optimise the rate of use of these vehicles. Because for the company, when these vehicles are not used for professional purposes, being able to rent them to its employees contributes to the optimisation of the cost that it is looking for, it contributes, of course, to the comfort of the employee and it contributes to putting more people in one and the same car, so it also has an environmental impact, somewhere.

This is the end of this episode, thank you Virginie Bouteuil and Guillaume Naegelen for sharing your vision with us. Thank you for following us and see you soon for new episodes of Open World with Mobilize and Usbek & Rica.

the challenges of mobility decarbonisation and its financing

mobilize
EWAYS

the challenges of mobility decarbonisation and its financing

  • design
  • energy transition

Podcast Mobilize

Camille Combe talks to l’ADN – Camille Combe talks to l’ADN – 

00:00
 / 
00:00
.
00:00
-10s
+10s

Camille Combe, project manager at the Fabrique de la Cité, talks about financing mobility in a post-carbon world.

symbiotic energy and its application to mobility

mobilize
EWAYS

symbiotic energy and its application to mobility

  • design
  • energy transition

Podcast Mobilize

Isabelle Delannoy talks to l’ADN – Isabelle Delannoy talks to l’ADN – 

00:00
 / 
00:00
.
00:00
-10s
+10s

Isabelle Delannoy, environmentalist, talks about the theory of the symbiotic economy to minimise the impact of our mobility on the environment.

new infrastructures for sustainable transportation

mobilize
EWAYS

new infrastructures for sustainable transportation

  • design
  • energy transition

Podcast Mobilize

Julien Villalongue talks to l’ADN  – Julien Villalongue talks to l’ADN  – 

00:00
 / 
00:00
.
00:00
-10s
+10s

Julien Villalongue, Managing director of Léonard, the Vinci Group’s foresight and innovation platform, shares his views on the mobility of the future.

cities, our modern-day mobility labs

villes laboratoires mobilité
SCOREBOARD

cities, our modern-day mobility labs

Our cities are some of the world’s most densely occupied spaces, and as such serve as permanent laboratories for the ecological transition, notably when it comes to mobility. They are the focal point for numerous initiatives that seek to introduce new travel habits or tools aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mobilize – with its shared mobility, on-demand mobility and EV charging solutions – is playing an active part in helping cities along the road towards carbon neutrality.

  • energy storage
  • energy transition
  • shared mobility

Improving the green energy mix

The self-service electric vehicles that are currently deployed in the Dutch city of Utrecht have the ability to feed some of the electricity from their batteries back into the grid once hooked up to the city’s public charging points. This system, which uses vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, helps balance out the grid by only recharging batteries when demand is low and by returning energy to the grid during peak load times. It’s a shining example of how to encourage the use of intermittent renewable energy sources.

Providing à la carte mobility

Helsinki, a city with a reputation for setting the standard in the environmental protection sphere, decided to introduce an integrated on-demand mobility solution in the form of a single app, which led to the Finnish capital setting up a centralized MaaS (Mobility as a Service) system. The app provides users with information on the various modes of transport available, and allows them to combine different modes in a single click, be that taxi, metro, tram, bus, car or even bike. Users can also book, plan and pay for their journeys via the app. It’s kind of like carrying an A to Z of local transport around with you in your pocket!

 

Combining comfort with practicality

Having launched the project a few years ago with 2 pilot carports, the French city of Toulouse is currently testing the use of solar canopy installations in 12 carparks across the city, covering a total of 6,100 m2. These autonomous charging stations are capable of producing 1,000 MWh of electricity each year, which is equivalent to the consumption of  350 people. Parked vehicles can enjoy the shade of the facilities and be recharged  with ultra-local green electricity.

 

Decongesting the town centre

Back in 2007, the Slovenian capital Ljubljana was one of the very first to close its centre to vehicles due to constant traffic congestion. The city council then came up with a range of alternatives to help people get around: free electric taxis for the elderly and for families with children, improvement of the cycling and public transport network, generalised 30 km/h speed limit, delivery vehicles only allowed between 6 and 10 a.m., and even a 10-hectare zone that is totally car-free. A smoother mobility for a better breathing city centre.

Encouraging soft mobility solutions

Launched in 2008, the city of London’s “low emission zone” only allows low-polluting vehicles to access the city centre. Other major European cities have since followed suit, including Antwerp, Copenhagen, Paris, Milan and Berlin. In 2019, the London scheme was extended with the introduction of an “ultra low emission zone” and even a “zero emission zone” in the very heart of the city. It operates alongside the “London Congestion Charge”, a toll scheme that restricts vehicular access to the city. Walking or using soft mobility solutions is highly recommended!

Offering free parking

Since mid-2021, rechargeable electric and hybrid vehicles that emit less than 60g of CO2 per kilometre have been eligible for 6 consecutive hours of free parking in the heart of the French capital, Paris. This initiative was introduced to complement the “green badge” system, which allows anyone with a “clean” vehicle to park in Paris free of charge for up to two hours.

Calculating energy savings

The Irish city of Dublin has set up an online eco-calculator system that estimates the CO2 emissions avoided by users who prefer public transport to private vehicles. The aim? Encourage choices have. It’s a great way of raising people’s awareness of all the environmental benefits public transport has.

 

Robotising small deliveries

Last-mile deliveries are the most critical point in city-centre e-commerce logistics. In an effort to streamline these short deliveries to end customers, the Texan city of Huston is taking the bold steps  by putting small autonomous vehicles on its pavements. Delivery robots equipped with 360° cameras and sensors are now authorised to wend their way along the city’s streets transporting food, medication and other little parcels, which are dropped directly at the recipient’s door. It’s an amazing way of mitigating congestion on the American metropolis’s roads.

Mobilize Fast Charge, soon 200 charging stations for electrified vehicles in Europe

KEYNOTE

Mobilize Fast Charge, soon 200 charging stations for electrified vehicles in Europe

Located near an expressway, Mobilize Fast Charge stations will allow the recharging of any electrified vehicle… for a short break to be enjoyed in a dedicated space. Régis Fricotté, Sales Director, tells us about this ultra-fast charging network!

  • brand vision
  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition

 

You know the popular belief that it is difficult to make long journeys in an electric vehicle? Mobilize Fast Charge is the answer, so that travelling in an electric car becomes a matter of course, especially across the different countries of Europe.

far from the metropolises, smaller towns and rural areas carry the change

podcast mobilize
OPEN WORLD

far from the metropolises, smaller towns and rural areas carry the change

(podcast in French)
  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition
  • shared mobility

Podcast Mobilize

localities to the rescue of mobility – localities to the rescue of mobility – 

00:00
 / 
00:00
.
00:00
-10s
+10s

In a society faced with the consequences of global warming and increasingly concerned about its impact on the environment, individual cars are becoming the symbol of an outdated era. So do the decision-makers in the various communities that make up the territories chose to respond to these issues? What solutions do they put in place to ensure their inhabitants’ mobility is both sustainable and practical?

Marie Huyghe, Mobility Consultant and membre of the SCOP Odyssée Création, Research engineer at Laboratoire CNRS-CITERES, and Anne-Lise Castel, Mobility Services Deployment Director, take you on a tour of mobility far from the metropolises.

Intervention of Marie Huyghe, Mobility Consultant:

Today, we see in our daily lives that our travel habits are changing. What does mobility look like today in rural or peri-urban areas? And what are the main issues that these territories face?

We can characterize this mobility with many things. I’m going to focus on two of them for the moment. First, the question of modal shares, i.e. what percentage of trips are made by car, public transport, etc.. Today in rural areas, we must admit that cars are mainly used, with a modal shares of around 80 or even 90% in certain areas.

So, the car still has a lot of room, and its modal share is not decreasing much. If we look at the various surveys that have been carried out on a national scale, there was one in 2008 and there was another more recently. We can see that the modal share of the car is not changing much, but we should note that, especially since lockdown, there are interesting signals around us. If we look at what is happening with bicycles for instance, and the use of the bicycle for daily commuting and especially for leisure trips, which is clearly increasing in these rural and peri-urban areas.

The modal share is a first indicator. The other point that is interesting to explore is the distances that people in one same household in rural areas travel today. If we look at the average distances and in particular the average distances for commuting, (i.e., going from home to work), we are at distances of around 15-17 kilometers. These are significant distances in terms of distance, time, and cost for households. That’s the first thing.

And we estimate that households travel around 30 kilometers per day. That is important. However, what is interesting to me when we talk about the evolution of uses and more specifically, of the shift towards active modes of transport such as cycling and walking, is to note that today, 40% of rural trips in France are less than 5 kilometers long. And 5 kilometers is considered a distance that can be covered by an electrically assisted bicycle. Not for everyone, of course, not all the time, but in any case, it is a distance that can be done differently than by car. And as I was saying, today, most of these trips are still made by car.

You were talking about the issue of long distances. Faced with these constraints and the needs of its inhabitants, what are their reactions in these territories, and do they wish to change their habits?

There are two things. Their reaction: for example, you must look at what is happening at the moment, what is happening since the increase in fuel prices with the war in Ukraine, etc. We can see that more and more residents and employees are telling their elected representatives or employers about their mobility problems. So today, we can no longer consider that the dependence on the automobile observed in these territories and in the practices of households, is satisfactory. We knew that. Today, we have a whole part of the population that is excluded from this automobile system and that finds itself with difficulties to move, access to employment, access to shops, etc.

We knew that this all-car system was not satisfactory, but today, it is more and more obvious, and households are pointing it out. That’s the reaction. Then your question was: do they want to change their habits? The answer is not so simple. There is a tendency, when we talk about ecological transition, to put a lot on individuals, to say: “Go ahead, leave your car for a while and move on”. But for people to adopt other practices, they must first be in an environment that allows them to do so.

Today, I would say that there are three players who need to get to work. There are the local authorities, whose role today is to develop the environment in which we travel, to develop the territories in a way that is less dependent on the car, to develop alternatives to the car. There are employers who are a very interesting actor, to promote mobility and to encourage their employees to travel differently. And there are individuals, who are responsible for changing their habits, once again, when the environment allows it.

You help elected officials in their responses to these issues. How are the territories responding? Have they evolved in recent years and what are the obstacles or incentives they face?

Has this changed in recent years? Yes, when I started working on this issue about ten years ago, I regularly spoke with officials who told me, “Don’t worry, there’s no problem. And anyway, we have the electric vehicle”. Then, it changed over the years, hydrogen vehicle, even autonomous vehicle. In any case, the decision-makers had a ready-made technical solution. And the environmental issues that you mentioned at the beginning were not considered at all. The impact of mobility in terms of greenhouse gas emissions was not considered a problem. All this, I think, is evolving and today, we can really say that mobility is considered as an issue that communities must take on. That has changed.

However, I would say that there are still some issues that are a bit taboo when we talk about mobility, like the reduction of the place of the car. Today, the car is not at all dethroned in the countryside. On the other hand, what we see is that local authorities are trying to develop complementary offers to the car, but not alternative offers to the car. They are not trying to replace the car, but simply helping to move around when cars are not available. I think that we are a bit in the middle of the road, and we can still go a long way.

But once again, there are many things that encourage local authorities to act, and, it must be emphasized, many calls for projects with funding from the government, France Mobilités, ADEME. And that really incite communities to develop solutions, strategic documents, etc.

And in concretely, what are the responses of territories that manage to overcome these obstacles? What innovations do you see emerging on your side?

I wouldn’t say that we are talking about innovations. We have to stop hoping that we will find a solution, a miracle innovation that will replace the car, which is an absolutely magical tool. Today, we have nothing that will replace it. We are going to talk about a collection of solutions. What will make move without cars? It’s going to be a package of solutions: public transport, carpooling, active modes, carsharing, if we think about the evolution of car use.

And I mentioned earlier that we also need to work on the demand for mobility, not to try to ensure our travel in other ways, but also to try to reduce our travel needs. This will be done, for example, by developing localities in which its different functions residential, employment, trade, etc., are not at such great distances that we are obliged to go from one to another in a motorized vehicule. Thinking of territories that are a little denser, a little more mixed, is also what will make it easier to get around on foot or by bicycle.

And in your opinion, are these changes also favored by the arrival of an urban population in these territories? With the departure from large cities and telecommuting, can we imagine that these new arrivals of people more comfortable with a multiple mobility offer, can participate in making this change accepted more quickly?

There are two things I would like to comment on. The first thing is that, yes, when people arrive in a village or a medium-sized city and say: “We come from a big city, and we don’t want to come here and have to buy two cars and depend on cars”. When we have these demands, this pressure, which is exerted on elected officials, yes, obviously, it helps to move the lines. Just like all the work done by cycling associations, walking associations, etc., when they put pressure on elected officials so that things move. That’s the first thing. Yes, the arrival of new inhabitants with new expectations, new values, other cultures of mobility, helps to change lines.

I want to go back to the question of remote work though. Remote work has been seen as a miracle solution. We always hope for miracles. What is certain is that it is interesting in terms of rebalancing private life and personal life. And indeed, on certain days of the week, we no longer have to endure long, restrictive trips to work. However, we should not consider that remote work leads to a decrease in the distances travelled.

What we observe is a bit the opposite, that individuals who work remotely regularly and several days a week tend to take more trips and to travel a bigger distance overall. Because they travel less for work, but they have other leisure activities, which means that they travel anyway. What we observe is that they are also inhabitants who will, for example, take advantage of the possibility of working remotely to move away, to live in rural areas, in suburban areas, etc. And people who used to travel, for example, by public transport or by bicycle because they were close to their workplace, now become dependent on the car. In any case, we must also consider the rebound effects that this will have.

We know that whatever the case, the question of the transition of mobility is a question of profound transition that concerns all the inhabitants of localities, whatever their role. Can we imagine that these changes could trigger a virtuous circle that would allow an appropriate response to the climate emergency?

Can this start a virtuous circle? Yes. In any case, we can hope that all the crises we are observing, economic crisis for individuals, environmental crisis whose consequences we perceive full force, we can hope that it moves people. But I would say, “One can hope.” Because when you look at what’s happening, yes, things are happening, but we’re still very far from the mark. As I said, the car is not at all dethroned today. We are very far from the mark. We need to go much faster; we need to do much more. Except that when we look at the obstacles today, there are financial obstacles for the communities. Today, the communities have difficulties to finance these mobility projects. That is the first obstacle.

There are difficulties in terms of skills and engineering today in rural areas, whether on a communal or inter-communal scale, which is more relevant to work on mobility. But we don’t necessarily have the skills, this means that we don’t have mobility officers who can work on this issue over the long term. And that’s the difficulty. Today, we operate based on calls for tenders that last two or three years. And the big difficulty is to carry out policies on the long term because we need the long term for people to change their habits, which is something that happens over time.

And there is also a third difficulty, I said financial, I said engineering and skills. It is also, I think, that for some elected officials, the question is so enormous. They are simply asked to change a system that has prevailed for 60 years and that was considered satisfactory for 60 years. And they are being asked to change it completely. They are also being asked, in a certain sense, to oppose or impose constraints on their fellow citizens and voters. It is clear today that it is extremely difficult for these elected officials to move forward with this issue. In concrete terms, there is a real need for support for these loalities, on the part of the State, on the part of the regions and on the part of training institutes that will provide skills and bring a little confidence to these elected officials and decision-makers and tell them: “Yes, you can act at your level”.

Intervention of Anne-Lise Castel, Mobility Services Deployment Director:

How are Renault and Mobilize adapting to the diversification of mobility in rural and suburban areas?

Already, I think that rural mobility is evolving because, more and more, people are sensitive to the use of the automobile. On the one hand, cars are becoming a rare and expensive product. This is due to the crisis in components that we are experiencing at the moment, and also to the fact that people do not use their cars very often. There is a pendular movement when the citizens go from their place, their city, their house to their place of work, can put their vehicle down, or even take a public transport afterwards. And their vehicle is not used 90% of the time. It’s a means of transportation which is quite uneconomical when you acquire a vehicle. What we offer at Mobilize is not to acquire the vehicle, but to rent it for certain services and to pay only for its use.

In other words, we will share means of transport that are private means of transport in addition to public means of transport. And these are requests that we have more and more from cities, including small towns that wish to make car-sharing vehicles available to citizens. So that they can use car-sharing, for example, for commuting, or also to make more spontaneous trips during the day, without necessarily having to buy a vehicle. So, the user only pays for the use of his mobility, often in addition to public transport.

And what proposals have you put in place with the territories to meet these challenges?

One example is the city of Nice, which is one of the major cities we have been working with for a few years now, with the Mobilize Share brand, which offers this car-sharing service that can be taken almost anywhere in the city. And in these cases, it is the local Renault dealer who owns the vehicles, who makes these vehicles available to the city of Nice on the public space. These vehicles on the public area have reserved spaces. This is the partnership that we can have with the city of Nice, for example.

And the citizens can take these vehicles, open them, thanks to a Mobilize Share application, and pay according to the use they have made of them. We also work with small towns in rural areas. I’m going to mention a small town called Luitré-Dompierre, which is in the west of France, and which came to us to have a few vehicles to offer to its citizens to facilitate their mobility. We are talking about a few vehicles, between 2 and 5 vehicles.

The same thing is happening – and it is working well – in Belgium, where the local dealer is becoming a player in local mobility and is offering this service to the municipality that wants it. The municipality, and here I am quoting the case of Belgium, wanted to use and pay part of the rent for these vehicles for its own needs. For its employees, so that the people working at the town hall can travel and work during the day. They book these vehicles for certain periods of time and the rest of the time, they are made available to citizens who can book their own vehicle with the application. And as I told you, they pay for the use, and put the vehicle back where they found it. This benefits everyone, both for the professional needs of the city hall employees and for the personal and professional needs of the citizens who live in these small towns.

And for you, what are the challenges of this new world of mobility and what is the role of Mobilize to meet these challenges?

Mobilize is really about making mobility accessible to everyone through car sharing, shared mobility, but also accessible, sustainable mobility since most of our vehicles today are electric vehicles. It is accessible through an application, but it is also accessible in terms of costs since users pay per use and do not own the vehicle. So the idea is really to move to another mode of mobility by proposing mobility that can be used as we wish, easily, and for which we only pay for use.

And this will be the last word. Thank you, Anne-Lise Castel and Marie Huyghe, for sharing your ideas and thoughts with us. Thank you for following us and see you soon for new episodes of Open World with Mobilize and Usbek & Rica.

chap. 2: the battery… what are its (super) powers

ARTEFACT

the battery
[chap. 2] what are its super-powers?

Artefact is the video series conceived by Mobilize that tells the story of mobility through its objects.
Discover the episode focused on the battery of the electric vehicle. Artefact tells you all about this essential link of low-carbon mobility!

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

 

This episode on the battery is broken down into two videos. Here, in the second chapter, Artefact invite you to discover the batteries’ superpowers in the service of the electric grid. Charging your electric vehicle while reducing its impact, is it possible? What is the “second life of batteries”? Mobilize shares its solutions to make the electric vehicle batteries a boost for the energy transition.

 

 

Previously, in the first chapter, Artefact explained the manufacture and operation of batteries. Check it out!

 

the battery
[chap. 1] what is it?

What is a battery? How does it work? How are they made? What happens to them at the end of their life? With Mobilize, the basics of electric vehicle batteries will no longer hold any secrets for you!

watch the video

chap 1: the battery… what is it?

KEYNOTE

Mobilize Fast Charge, soon 200 charging stations for electrified vehicles in Europe

Located near an expressway, Mobilize Fast Charge stations will allow the recharging of any electrified vehicle… for a short break to be enjoyed in a dedicated space. Régis Fricotté, Sales Director, tells us about this ultra-fast charging network!

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

 

You know the popular belief that it is difficult to make long journeys in an electric vehicle? Mobilize Fast Charge is the answer, so that travelling in an electric car becomes a matter of course, especially across the different countries of Europe.

the battery
[chap. 2] what are its super-powers?

Charging your electric vehicle while reducing its impact, is it possible? What is the “second life of batteries”? Mobilize shares its solutions to make the electric vehicle batteries a boost for the energy transition.

watch the video

from electric car battery to energy storage: a virtuous cycle

cycle vertueux
TOP PLAYER

from electric car battery to energy storage: a virtuous cycle

Amaury Gailliez, Battery Business & Operations Director for Mobilize and Matthew Lumsden, CEO of Connected Energy, explain how the two companies collaborate on giving a second life to electric vehicle batteries for energy storage systems. The result? A virtuous circle for end-customers and energy systems.

  • electric vehicle
  • energy transition

What is the nature of the partnership between Mobilize and Connected Energy?

Matthew Lumsden: Connected Energy develops and deploys commercial E-STOR energy storage systems for customers with large-scale storage needs. In a nutshell, we take multiple electric vehicle batteries and link them so they can operate as a larger unit.
For more than 7 years, we have worked with Renault Group to repurpose electric vehicle batteries that have reached the end of their life Because at this stage, the batteries are still working extremely well and find a new life in stationary energy storage applications.

Amaury Gailliez: Our commercial and logistics partnership with Connected Energy aims to make the most of our batteries’ lifespan.
A battery has a first life within the electric vehicle. Its second life is an additional period of use that can last up to 10 years. This not only reduces the carbon footprint of each battery,.but also facilitates access to energy storage on a large scale.

matthew lumsden
Matthew Lumsden, Chief Executive Officier, Connected Energy
amaury gailliez
Amaury Gailliez, Battery Business & Operations Director, Mobilize

What are the main benefits of using electric vehicle batteries for energy storage?

AG: Our batteries are engineered for very demanding usage, which is originally automotive use. Therefore, they are designed to be durable and reliable. When our batteries no longer operate at full capacity, they still deliver high performance in stationary use. It’s hard to think of a better use for them, given how essential energy storage will become to ensure the power grid is responsive and resilient.

ML: More and more electric vehicles on the road means more and more storage units for the future, which can be reused instead of buying and/or manufacturing new batteries. Meanwhile, the battery’s exacting design standards proposed by Mobilize guarantee that we’re offering very safe and reliable products. Linking these batteries together into integrated units, we can then use them to store renewable energy, balance the grid during peak load times, and so on. This suddenly makes energy storage much cheaper, more readily available and more accessible to all. Developing energy storage also means developing affordable, low-carbon electricity—which is good news for all sectors, including electric mobility! It truly is a virtuous circle.

Could you give us some examples of the benefits of this virtuous circle for end-customers of both Mobilize and Connected Energy?

ML: Integrating our supply chain with Renault Group and Mobilize’s makes it easier for us to provide our solutions to more and more customers. They can be utilities seeking to deploy storage solutions for their own consumers, or industrial groups who want to store power from their on-site generation facilities as a backup.
We also cater to companies with specific requirements. Electric vehicle charging stations, for instance, often need backup power because fast-charging multiple cars at once puts a strain on the grid. Organisations that need increased resilience to maintain critical functions in case of grid failure, such as water companies, are another example.
What these use cases all have in common is that they support a more reliable, responsive, sustainable and efficient power grid.

reconditionnement batteries renault flins
E-STOR 60/90 container installed at Statkraft’s Rheidol hydroelectric power station (Wales)
usine renault
Battery reconditioning line at the Renault Group Refactory in Flins (France)

AG: As for Mobilize, working with Connected Energy opens the door to optimising production and logistics. The latter is a crucial link in the chain as batteries are very heavy, cumbersome, and involve all kinds of safety protocols to manipulate them. Having an integrated supply chain enables us to prepare batteries’ second life on a massive scale.
These efficiency gains will be passed on to buyers, who will enjoy a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of both battery and vehicle. This, in turn, contributes to make the vehicles more widely accessible and to putting more and more of these future storage units into circulation. In the end, it truly is a win-win-win for manufacturers, customers, and the environment.

What future developments do you expect to see in the use of electric vehicle batteries for energy storage?

ML: From a business perspective, I believe the growing availability of batteries will keep driving larger-scale energy storage projects as well as large numbers on industrial and commercial sites. For instance, we currently have E-STOR systems operating and being built with capacities of between 60 kW and 6 MW. But we expect to be deploying commercial 20MW/40MW systems by 2024. Ultimately, I expect energy storage will become a normal part of energy consumption for many organisations. Our objective is to maintain its commercial viability relative to other technologies.

AG: We are looking at truly enormous potential, that much is certain. Look at the growth of battery capacity: we started from cars with 22 kWh batteries, and soon we will reach the 100 kWh mark. Even if those were to lose 20% of their capacity during their first life, that is still a lot of power to draw on! The millions of electric vehicles that will take to the road in coming years represent millions of second lives to support a more efficient and responsive power grid.

 

Copyrights: Renault Communication Brésil, Connected Energy, Roland Mouron