Groupe Renault has revealed a new two-seat urban mobility vehicle designed called the EZ1-Prototype, which recalls the Renault Twizy and will be the first machine offered under its new Mobilize mobility brand.
The Mobilize business venture is intended to help lead Groupe Renault’s efforts to break into new mobility, energy and data-related services, which it anticipates will become increasingly profitable in future years. It will focus on developing both hardware – with a range of purpose-built vehicles - software and services, such as car charging, subscription and finance schemes.
Mobilize is developing four purpose-built machines that will focus on ride-sharing and last-mile delivery services. The first is the EZ-1 Prototype, which “exemplifies the goals of the Mobilize brand” by putting “service at the heart of vehicle design”.
Designed as a shared-use urban mobility vehicle, it takes cues from mobility concepts previously shown by Groupe Renault but has been honed for real-world use. Users will be able to rent by time or distance on a pay-per-use basis.
The lightweight machine is 2.3 metres long and made of 50% recycled materials, with full glass doors to boost visibility and the ability to extend its life by swapping batteries. Renault also says that 95% of the EZ-1's parts can be recycled at the end of the vehicle's life.
The EZ-1 will connect to smartphones to enable keyless access and app-based renting.
Beyond the EZ-1, Mobilize will develop battery management systems, including developing an ecosystem of smart charging and storage solutions designed to boost EV uptake. These include a charging pass for customers to more easily locate share points and plans for a single Europe-wide payment solution.
Groupe Renault has been expanding its efforts to break into the driver sharing and mobility markets in recent years. It already supports shared electric mobility schemes in a number of European cities with the Renault Twingo and Renault Zoe EV, and the forthcoming Dacia Spring EV is also designed so that it can be used for driver sharing schemes.