Stress-free transition to electric for taxis, VTCs and corporate fleets

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In these short times, taxis and VTCs are increasingly interested in going electric. Because the big cities will gradually complicate the use of any other type of energy. Because the trend is to reduce individual vehicle traffic as well. Thus, Mobilize estimates that, in parallel with the use of public transport, the use of drivers to get around the city will increase by 80% by 2030!

Going electric requires rethinking the way you use a vehicle, especially for a professional who has to do a lot of daily commuting. Significantly different driving, more frequent charging, installation of wallboxes… There are things to know and adapt. Being accompanied in this transition is, therefore, an advantage.

A tailored offer for certain profiles

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Mobilize Drivers Solution is above all a set of services and a vehicle made available based on the principle of long-term rental. The offer is very flexible as, for taxis and VTC, the subscription varies from 3 months to 3 years. Naturally, the lowest monthly payments correspond to the longest commitment. Thus, the commitment over 36 months is billed at €1,499 including taxes/month, but within the limit of 150,000 km. For corporate fleets, the offer extends to a long-term lease of up to 6 years or 300,000 km.

Offers that can be adapted according to needs but, in all cases, the services included are the same for everyone and quite complete. They understand :

  • Car financing in monthly subscription without contribution.
  • Fast delivery of the vehicle (optional home delivery).
  • The “Mobilize Business Pass” badge and the Mobilize Power Solutions app enable payment for charging at more than 250,000 electrical terminals across Europe, including a preferential rate at Ionity terminals.
  • Vehicle manufacturer’s warranty for the duration of the contract.
  • Free maintenance, including labor and parts, including wear items such as tires.
  • Priority access to reference workshops.
  • Assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Personal transport insurance (personal effects not included) and all-risk damage, including breakdown assistance and towing.

It will be understood, everything is designed to facilitate in depth the transition from the professional to an electric vehicle. The speed in obtaining a vehicle, especially in this era of endless delivery times, is also a differential, as Mobilize already has stock.

All these services are managed by Mobilize and can be consulted through a single point of contact, a considerable advantage to facilitate day-to-day activities.

On the other hand, the maximum mileage for the monthly fee offered over 3 years seems a little below reality for a road professional who prefers 190,000 km in the same period (between 250 and 300 km per day and 60,000 km per year) . Unless you evolve in an exclusively urban environment, like the Paris region and that’s exactly what Mobilize is aiming for, at first.

A rational electric vehicle, but…

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How much is the limousine worth? At first glance, it presents itself quite well with false airs of a Tesla Model 3 in its profile or on its glass surfaces and of a Toyota Prius in its optics. In China it’s called Ezoom Yi, but in our market it’s completely rebranded with its own Mobilize logos, even on the headrests. What makes it unique on the road if not for its very sober colors: black, gray or white. At 4.67m long, 1.83m wide and 1.47m high, the Limo is the same size as the Model 3.

On board, the presentation is satisfying with stitched synthetic leather and faux carbon fiber inserts, a few chrome-effect pieces and brushed aluminum here and there. We expected much worse for a “chinoiserie”. Limo benefits as standard from the 10.25-inch digital handset behind the steering wheel, a 12.3-inch touchscreen compatible with (wired) smartphone replication. The heating control block is less modern, however. The standard equipment is rich and among all the battery of driving assistance it has, Limo includes, in particular, adaptive cruise control, active lane keeping or the 360° camera. And thanks to the My Mobilize Limo app, fleet managers can monitor the activity of limousines in circulation, as well as launch updates remotely.

For rear passengers, the Limo isn’t stingy with legroom. On the other hand, the presence of the batteries just below requires a shallow floor and a very high knee position, which will not necessarily appeal to older people. The central square is very fair for any adult. Everyone can take advantage of 2 standard USB ports (2 on the front as well) and sound control keys. To load luggage, Limo has 500 liters of trunk, slightly impacted by the wheel arches. The absence of a spare wheel still allows you to carry 2 large suitcases. If necessary, it is also possible to fold down part of the seat, split 60/40, but the space thus obtained will always be occupied by the chassis beam, specific for any three-box bodywork.

Behind the wheel and in smooth driving, the Limousine does what is expected of it. Quiet driving, satisfying guidance, including a remarkable turning radius. If its damping flexibility is also right, it becomes powerful on obstacles that are far from rare in our big cities. Those who are more sensitive behind the wheel will also find pendulum steering and, for those in a hurry, pronounced understeer and braking quickly overcome in dynamic driving.

Zen driving is, however, the most obvious in the environment for which it was designed, the Limo knows how to be economical with consumptions observed during our test between 15 and 17 kWh/100 km. Reasonable, knowing that our road book was mostly driving and not so urban. The 100% electric powertrain of 118 kW (160 hp) and 225 Nm of torque is also enough for lively starts and correct restarts for overtaking. The Limo is given to 450 km of autonomy (WLTP). During our test under very high heat, rotating air conditioning, we could have covered 375 km with our average. Note that in winter, the heat pump as standard on this model will be an advantage to limit the impact of heating on autonomy. When recharging, the 60 kW battery can be connected to an AC charger of 7.4 kW (100% recharged in 10/12h) or 11 kW (100% in 7/8h) and DC at 75 kW max (250 km recharged in 40 min).

our balance

After a few random taxi or Uber questions, everyone was unanimous that their monthly operating budget is higher and sometimes even much higher than Mobilize’s offering. It is therefore a good point for service, even if the maximum authorized mileage can be reached quickly, or even exceeded. Investing in a vehicle that will not be theirs in the long run, such as in an LOA, on the other hand, often poses a problem for them as they will not be able to recover any residual value on resale. Although the question of the residual value of a Chinese, who is more electric, remains. Maybe it’s better to just rent, which Mobilize offers. The services included in the offer, including the single point of contact, called the attention of respondents to drive more peacefully and not have to delve into the intricacies of implementing their electrical environment (demand management and installation of a terminal in the house, for example ).

Regarding the Limo itself, if it is not perfect for taxis and VTC, it remains a pleasant tool for those who are used to driving in generalist models, such as a Prius for example. But it’s not a Tesla Model 3 or a Mercedes EQE either (which of course will interest current E-Class owners). So, the entire category of pretty successful professionals will be harder to convince when it comes to going electric. Finally, the ideal target initially would perhaps be corporate fleets. Salespeople, for example, for whom the Limousine would just be a company car managed by the company, without investment and personal attachment. As long as your industry is well served by the billing infrastructure, of course.

sum up

One of Autonews’ journalist-testers tested Mobilize Limo for you, a subsidiary of the Renault group aimed at road professionals, and its associated offering called Mobilize Drivers Solution.

Florian Duchiron

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