What is the role of the Mobilize brand in Groupe Renault's strategy?
The automotive industry is changing. More and more drivers are choosing not to own their vehicles, which can be expensive compared to the use they make of them, especially in large cities. In some circumstances, it makes more sense to pay for a journey than having your own car! Moreover, we know that a new car loses half its value after three years. With Mobilize, we want to accompany these changes by developing flexible mobility offers that are complementary to owning an individual vehicle.
What assets can Mobilize rely on?
We belong to an automotive group driven by innovation. Mobilize embodies the Group's new approach to mobility and is part of the transformation of the sector. It is a specific business unit with dedicated engineering and design teams and can also rely on the company's other resources.
We think mobility as a whole. Mobilize brings together several initiatives and start-ups around mobility - Zity, Renault Mobility, Karhoo, iCabbi, Glide.io ... - and energy ecosystems. Our subsidiary Elexent, for example, is a perfect illustration of our know-how in the field of infrastructure and recharging solutions. This allows us to have a good understanding of the services our customers need. This is what Mobilize is all about: offering services that meet the expectations of consumers, companies, operators or territories. That's why when we design a vehicle like the EZ-1 Prototype, we think about the overall experience of its future user. This is what we call "purpose designed vehicles" (vehicles designed for a specific use), whether intended for the mobility of people or goods.
In addition, we can rely on more than 6,000 points of sale in Europe to effectively deploy our services, as well as the RE-FACTORY in Flins for the maintenance of car-sharing fleets and battery recycling. Finally, the Software Republic, this open innovation ecosystem will be an important asset for the Mobilize brand, which will be able to rely on the significant development skills that will be gathered there.
What are Mobilize’s main challenges?
Culture change is our biggest challenge. From being a vehicle manufacturer, we need to become a service provider in our three main business areas: mobility, energy and data. This requires a fairly radical change of mindset. We must be in start-up mode while remaining within a large group. To do this, we must not hesitate to test, even if it means making mistakes, in other words to practice 'test and learn'. Especially when the entire automotive sector is going through a difficult period. We will have to be skillful, agile and enterprising.
How is going the business unit set up? What will be Mobilize’s first achievements?
Mobilize is three months old. It may not seem like much, but our strategy and roadmap are clear. We have a team and we have prioritized our projects. Our car-sharing activities are developing particularly well and we should be entering new cities soon, both with our Zity offer, which now has more than 400,000 customers, and with Renault Mobility, which is being deployed in small and medium-sized cities, most recently in Toulouse. I am also proud to announce that we have started testing the sedan for taxi and VTC companies. The aim is to have the vehicle that is best suited to the services we want to offer.
In terms of energy services, our energy storage business is up and running and we will be expanding it in the coming weeks and months. As part of the 'Advanced Battery Storage' project, the largest stationary energy storage system based on electric vehicle batteries in Europe, we have just connected the first installations to the national electricity grid in Douai. These batteries help regulate the grid by charging when demand for electricity is low and then feeding energy back into the grid when demand is high.
With the Mobilize team, the future of mobility is already a reality!