Mobilize, Renault Group’s brand for car-sharing and ride-hailing services, launched the Duo and the Bento, two urban EVs that will be available in 2023 and 2024 respectively through subscription or long-term lease schemes. The Duo is the production version of the EZ-1 concept from last year and the successor to the Renault Twizy, while the Bento is its cargo-focused sibling for professional customers.
The micro-vehicles set to debut at the Paris Motor Show are rivals to the Citroen Ami and My Ami Cargo, although you won’t be able to directly purchase them like the latter.
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Styling-wise, the Mobilize Duo looks like an evolution of the Renault Twizy with similar proportions, slim LED lights, protruding bumpers, and scissor doors. Despite being toned down compared to the EZ-1 concept, it looks quite fresh. Renault Group’s designers were inspired by the world of video games, adding an ’80s and ’90s vibe to the microcar. The anthracite-grey and orange livery is fitting with Mobilize’s branding but six surfaces, such as the strip beneath the windscreen, the door handles and the C pillars, can be customized.
The EVs are based on a tubular frame and feature unpainted plastic body panels. The Duo has a tiny footprint, measuring 2.43 m (95.7 inches) long, 1.30 m (51.2 inches) wide, and 1.46 m (57.5 inches) tall which makes it slightly longer and wider but exactly as tall as the Twizy. The Bento is slightly longer and taller due to the addition of the cargo box. Mobilize says that 50 percent of the EV is made of recycled materials, while 95 percent of it will be recyclable.
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Inside there is a boombox-style dashboard with a small digital instrument cluster, an integrated speaker, a USB-C slot, and a smartphone dock. Unlike the Twizy, the cabin is fully enclosed with large glass surfaces on the door, while the steering wheel has an airbag. The Duo has two seats arranged in a 1+1 layout, while the Bento is a single-seater with a 700 lt (24.7 cubic feet) cargo box at the back. Both versions have two storage compartments on the sides of the front seat, while the seat upholstery is made of TEP so it is durable and easy to clean. Mobilize also has plans for a special conversion for people with reduced mobility.
The Mobilize Duo comes fitted with a single electric motor powering the rear wheels. It will be offered in two variants – one with a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph) for those without a car license (from 14 years old), and one with a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) for adult drivers. Mobilize didn’t reveal the power output or any performance figures but said both versions will offer “brisk acceleration”. A battery of unknown capacity is good for a range of 140 km (87 miles) and can add 90 km (56 miles) of range in three hours from a standard household outlet.
Mobilize made the Duo and the Bento compatible with connected services for managing fleets and ride-sharing services. The software can be remotely upgraded, enabling or disabling features according to customer preferences. In that context, the Duo also comes with keyless access and ignition using the user’s smartphone.
The Mobilize Duo will hit the roads by the end of 2023, while the Bento will be available to professional customers in the form of a longer-term lease starting in 2024. Users will have access to Renault’s after-sales network for servicing. Pricing will be announced closer to the market launch, including flexible subscription deals with monthly payments for as little as three months.