The Renault Group expects its newly hived-off electric mobility venture, Mobilize, to account for a significant 30% of its total turnover by 2030 – and it has unveiled a raft of new products and initiatives aimed at cementing the brand as a leading name in the field of “everything beyond automotive”.
Mobilize will launch new charging stations, servicing programmes, unique zero-emission transport solutions and innovative vehicle remanufacturing programmes with a view to facilitating the mass shift away from traditional vehicle propulsion and ownership systems – and reducing the cost to the environment while doing so.
Spearheading the brand’s launch on the product side is the Duo, an urban EV in the mould of the pioneering Renault Twizy. The Duo has a compact footprint and tandem seating arrangement that allows three of them to park side by side in one regular parking space. It also features scissor doors to minimise the space needed in car parks.
Unlike the similarly conceived Citroën Ami, the 1300mm-wide Duo cannot be bought outright. Instead, it will be available either for a few minutes or hours at a time via a dedicated app, or for lengthier periods (upwards of three months) through a web-operated subscription service, which will also be used to manage servicing and upkeep. This latter service caters particularly to commercial operators in city environments, with the options of branded body panels and a 700-litre rear cargo box – in the single-seat Bento version – helping to enhance its appeal to business customers.
The newly unveiled cabin is designed to be “intuitive for everybody” and, although spartan, is competitively equipped for the purposes of intensive use in busy environments. It includes a smartphone holder, USB-C charger and Bluetooth functionality, as well as overthe-air compatibility that can be used to update the operating system. For example, the speed can be capped in certain areas if limits are introduced.
Two Duo versions will be available, one limited to 28mph to comply with less stringent L6 quadricyle regulations and another capable of 50mph, which falls into the L7 category. Both are capable of an 87-mile range and gaining 56 miles of charge in three hours from a domestic charger.