our impressions of the subscription-based electric taxi

A three-box electric sedan for taxis and VTCs, through a monthly subscription system. That’s what Mobilize Driver Solutions offers to encourage professionals to switch to clean mobility. So, from driver to passenger: how much is Mobilize Limo worth?

Go to Madrid and more specifically to the Renault Retail Group. And for good reason: Mobilize is the Group’s new brand dedicated to clean and shared mobility. The Mobilize Limo is a renamed Chinese sedan, the Ezoom Yi, also owned by the Renault Group. VTC and taxi ambitions oblige, we chose to explore three aspects around this test. The experience behind the wheel, then as a passenger, and from the point of view of the professional drivers around us. Let’s go for a day with Mobilize Limo!

Mobilize Driver Solutions: the promise

Diesel is expected to leave the capital in 2024 and Uber will be fully electric (50% of which by 2025!). With the Mobilize Driver Solutions service, the young brand promises an innovative and 100% electric service, without any unpleasant surprises. Taxis and VTC can count on a complete formula, which in principle meets all the criteria sought:

  • An authorized vehicle everywhere
  • Always ready to hit the road
  • Reduced loading time
  • Professional all-risk insurance
  • Maintenance included (consumables and wearing parts, including tires)
  • Priority support when needed
  • Assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • A single point of contact for all needs

Contribution-free rental as well as insurance and maintenance included are the main arguments. This is normal, they are among the biggest items of monthly expenses, as we will see later. As far as maintenance is concerned, it is a dedicated reception service that allows drivers to be as immobilized as possible. Mobilize Limo and its services will be billed at €1,499 per month for 3 years and 150,000 km. A rate that would be 10% cheaper, on average, than current solutions (which are mostly à la carte). Mobilize Driver Solutions will be launched for the first time in France and Spain. The first 40 limousines will be in service in Madrid from late June and in Paris in autumn 2022.

Mobilize Limo design and conception

The Mobilize Limo is a large electric sedan of Chinese origin, intended for VTC and taxi rental only. Please understand that it will not be available for sale. It is therefore logical that it responds to certain codes sought within the profession. A three-box sedan, spacious enough, tidy and rewarding. Its dimensions: 4.75 m long, 1.83 m wide and 1.48 m high. All for a total weight of 1,600 kg. At first glance, the Limo is not the most characteristic, halfway between Tesla Model 3 and Toyota Prius. Blame it on the all-LED lighting, which is certainly modern but very inspired, both front and rear. The car, however, gets self-deploying flush handles, chrome inserts, and beautiful 17-inch rims. Only the Mobilize logos (hood, trunk, doors) make a difference with the Ezoom Yi.

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You will have understood, the Limo is a very elegant car in its design, but it does not transcend its design. After all, you shouldn’t take too many risks, Mobilize still has a target of 20% of the group’s revenue by 2030! A target linked to the fact that the number of taxis and VTC should increase by 80% in Europe by then. This is because municipalities want to change mobility, with less pollution, less footprint and more space for residents. Mobilize Limo should, in any case, blend into the automotive landscape quite easily, without attracting too much attention. The electric sedan will be offered in a single version (finish, equipment), but available in three colors. But between white, gray and black, it will certainly be the last that will be the most successful.

Performance and ergonomics: driver’s side

Let’s talk about the experience behind the wheel of Mobilize Limo. We ride aboard a sedan with modern equipment, with some details that are sometimes too “low-cost”. The driving position is quite special, the bodywork is well back and the knees a little high. Not uncomfortable, though, the power seats are fine, both front and rear. The long slab incorporates a 10.25-inch instrument panel and a 12.3-inch touchscreen. The latter does not shine for its reactivity and does not integrate native GPS navigation. You’ll have to go through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, as the vast majority of drivers do today anyway. The center console is very functional, but a little dated. The failure with a plastic material not very satisfying, as well as the air conditioning control, a little sad.

Concretely, it does the job, but it’s light years away from any good modern sedan, even a generalist one. On the performance side, the Mobilize Limo has an electric motor producing 160 horsepower and 225 Nm of torque. 3 driving modes Eco, Standard and Sport are offered. In practice, there is very little or no difference between the modes. If not a more responsive pedal map in Sport. Same observation from the energy recovery side, on 3 levels, of which we didn’t really feel the effect. A perfectible point on the driver’s side, but less uncomfortable decelerations on the passenger side, let’s face it! The limousine is limited to 140 km/h, perfect for urban and peri-urban races like Paris and beyond. If the drive is quiet and the chassis sounds good enough on your favorite terrain, then it’s clear that the sedan isn’t the most accurate in more “dynamic” conditions.

Autonomy and charging: 250 km in 40 minutes

Because of the progressive but uninformative steering at low speeds, the sporty steering is a no-no. And that’s not so bad, the Mobilize Limo is made for urban use and everyday efficiency. The sedan is equipped with a 60 kWh battery for 450 km of autonomy, compatible with AC and DC. On “ultra fast” charging, we recovered almost 250 km in 40 minutes. Mobilization values: AC 7 kW, up to 11 kW, fast charging up to 75 kW with optimal stability at 60 kW. In practice, we reached almost 400 km with a combined consumption of 15.7 kWh in suburban areas.

Consumption rises to 17 kWh with a slightly heavier foot (ie 350 km maximum). But putting things in context, Mobilize Limo should stand out in big cities. In Paris, for example, driving between 30 and 50 km/h on short trips should greatly promote autonomy. This reduces the vehicle’s charging (and therefore immobilization) time. According to data from Mobilize, drivers travel an average of 250 to 300 km per day. For this average, the brand announces a monthly electric budget of around €80. Real autonomy in urban areas must therefore meet the needs of drivers, not to mention fast charging, which is very practical.

comfort and space : passenger side

After the driving experience, you put yourself in the passenger seat. Let’s start with the equipment. Mobilize Limo’s rear passengers have two USB ports, volume control and airflow control. Lights and cup holders are also included. The vegetable leather seats echo the position at the front: propped up in the back, with the knees at knee height. On the other hand, we benefit from a very good radius of 288 in the knees. A very comfortable space made possible by the Limo’s 2.75 m wheelbase. A habitability that makes us appreciate the rear seats! The seat is a little firm, though, and that feeling is reinforced by the vehicle’s rather dry damping. The bumps in the road rise a little too much for our liking, even bumping into the back in the event of a big pothole.

Fortunately, customers don’t have to take long journeys on board. Comfort is therefore all right for urban travel, but the middle passenger will continue to be punished. This is due to the central armrest (backrest) and the tunnel between the feet: no completely flat floor in sight. Also note the wide openings in the doors, which facilitate access on board. In addition to the seat, passengers also benefit from a very generous 500-litre trunk. Enough for two large suitcases and two cabin bags. The driver will appreciate a little less access to the trunk, which isn’t the easiest when you need to load or unload bags at the bottom.

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Mobilize Limo and Driver Solutions: what the professionals think

Judging by the car’s performance, quality and overall performance, we know how to do it (well, we hope). This is absolutely not the case with Mobilize Driver Solutions’ subscription offers and prices. So we surveyed some pilots around us to get an idea of ​​what the pros think. Here is a summary of your opinion about the service. Mohamed, taxi: “It’s a good idea, compared to the thermal ones in the capital, it’s ok. Today I’m around €1,000 per month for fuel alone. I walk more than average, but most in the Paris area do 200 to 250 km a day. And there it is very advantageous in terms of costs. And soon, my diesel E-Class will no longer be able to go everywhere, so it should be considered and tested. Insurance €200, annual maintenance €800… It goes by fast.”

“The fact of having an all-inclusive service is really interesting. Well, the €1,500 franchise is important, but that’s the game, you can’t have everything”. A similar observation with Alex, VTC: “in the Paris region, 9 out of 10 of us are self-employed. Costs go up very quickly and €150 saved over a month is not negligible. Especially if everything is included, which makes a lot of things easier. Priority furthermore is a great argument. Then the 3-year commitment may not be ideal, but we will have to see the other formulas”. Two other drivers are of the same opinion and want to be able to adjust the mileage if necessary. Josué and Assia, for example, indicate that they travel about 65 thousand kilometers per year. Like them, we remain attentive to the complete Mobilize Driver Solutions offer and packages offered.

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