MOBILIZE DUO: FUN FOR CITY MOBILITY
> Duo is an all-electric quadricycle for urban mobility.
> It targets private customers as much as professional ones (self-employed professionals, company fleet, carsharing and micro-mobility operators).
> Its innovative, customisable design and small footprint make Duo ideal for driving around cities.
> It is designed to be 50% made with recycled materials and be 95% recyclable.
> Duo’s open and connected electronic architecture will enable upgradable connected services.
> It will be available on subscription or long-term leases with tailored services by end-2023.
> The cargo version, Bento, will be available for professional customers starting in 2024.
Designed for mobility in cities
Duo provides a new angle on urban mobility at a time when traffic restrictions in city centres are tightening. As it is all-electric, it will be able to enter the low-emissions zones that are appearing or growing in most large cities. And this micro-vehicle encapsulates everything the Mobilize brand stands for: rewriting the rules and championing new, more appealing and funnier mobility – that is also more responsible, inclusive and for every age.
Duo is powered by an electric motor at the rear that moves the back wheels. It comes in two versions: 45 km/h (without a licence from the age of 14, depending on the country) and 80 km/h (which requires a class B license) and both offer brisk accelerations because the torque is instantly available. And they are silent and vibration-free, like all electric vehicles, adding a very welcome touch to user comfort.
Duo's range is 140 km (pending WMTC certification), which is well suited to city and suburban driving.
A truly urban look
Duo’s city-proof, future-ready and rugged style is perfect for busy areas. The inspiration behind it comes from videogaming combined with a 1980s and 1990s vibe – including a boombox-like dashboard adding a hip-hop feel.
The design of our vehicles and our services mirrors the Mobilize brand’s DNA. We draw inspiration from urban hallmarks to design objects that enable mobility and venture beyond traditional automotive conventions. With Mobilize, we are inventing an entirely new take on mobility centred around digital technology and revolving around the object itself. People will choose Mobilize for the experience: it offers sustainable and connected mobility, while being fun, convenient, robust and easy to use,” says Patrick Lecharpy, VP Design, Mobilize.
Duo is ultra-compact (2.43 m long, 1.30 m wide, 1.46 cm high) to whiz about the most congested urban areas. It is especially comfortable to manoeuvre in cities, easy to park and agile. You can park three Duo cars perpendicularly in a standard parking space, to limit footprint. And the wraparound bumpers protect it from minor everyday bumps.
Trailblazing and eco-designed
Duo’s development was based on eco-design principles and smart stewardship: the goal is to use more than 50% recycled materials to build it and make it 95% recyclable at the end of its life.
It is built around a tubular structure, with paint-free plastic (polypropylene) body panels. The front and rear bumpers are identical to lower production and repair costs. The plastic grain on the bumpers and skirts is purpose-engineered to reduce signs of wear as time goes by and to make scratches invisible.
Duo has a LED system with two lights at the front and a strip at the back. Its body is anthracite-grey and orange, and some of its surfaces can be tailored to suit operators’ marking or covering requirements. There are six of these surfaces: the strip beneath the windscreen, the door handles and the C pillars. The dashboard is also customisable. And there is a range of accessories opening up more possibilities for customising Duo.
The two large side doors have windows and open upwards (not outwards) so users can always climb into and out of the car on the safe side and have no trouble doing so between two parked cars. This architecture is also safer for pedestrians and cyclists as the doors do not swing open onto the road or pavement.
“Duo is sensible and tickles the senses. It was designed for sharing but also provides a broader answer to the needs of city dwellers who are especially keen on environmental issues. As it is designed to be functional and sustainable, Duo will also transcend fashions and stay relevant with the refurbishing cycles planned at the Refactory,” explains Eric Diemert, Design Projects Director, Mobilize.
A practical and comfortable passenger compartment
With its two seats in tandem, Duo is geared for agile, sprightly urban micro-mobility. It has an ample, comfortable passenger compartment, which is entirely enclosed to shield users and has large windows to let in plenty of light. The steering wheel contains an airbag, which is rare in this type of vehicle.
Duo’s dashboard is designed to be as simple and intuitive as possible, so that every user can find their way around it effortlessly. But it still has a fun, pop-culture touch: a wink at the boomboxes at the centre of street culture in the 1980s and 1990s. It is orange, the instrument screen is in the centre, the gearbox lever is to the left of the steering wheel, and there is a speaker and a smartphone holder to the right. Plus a USB-C port to charge a smartphone.
The interior is as playful as it is functional, and cuts no corners on comfort. The two seats are fully padded to provide the same postural comfort as a standard private car and come with a choice of two ultra-tough TEP upholstery styles. The passenger compartment was designed to stand the test of time. And it’s easy to wash.
The driver’s seat slides 20 cm back or forth for easy access to the back seat. There are two storage compartments on either side of the front seat to fit two cabin bags. The back seat is large enough for a 1.80 m tall passenger to sit comfortably.
The plans also include amenities for people with reduced mobility: the vehicle will be able to carry a folding wheelchair and can come with a kit to fit the controls on the steering wheel.
Integrated and evolving connectivity
Duo’s open and connected electronic architecture supports evolving connected services, simplifies data sharing while protecting users’ privacy.
It comes with native connectivity, which is essential to manage company fleets, ride-sharing services and micro-mobility services. This system uploads some real-time data from the vehicle (for example its battery charge or location) to a secure server, which can then forward it to companies’ or operators’ fleet management platforms.
Mobilize’s solution is upgradable because it updates remotely (through FOTA technology). That way, connected services can be enabled or disabled when and as the customers’ preferences change. Similarly, some of the vehicle’s features can also be upgraded during its life cycle.
Duo also has a keyless access and ignition system using smartphones, so it will be easy for several users to share vehicles in company or operator fleets.
Two charging options
The little bonnet at the front provides access to Duo’s fixed charging lead, which can have a standard or Type 2 connector. Type 2 connectors work with most public charging stations on roads, on company premises or in car parks, and standard connectors are mostly used for charging vehicles at home and require no special fittings.
“Vehicle + services” deals for private and professional customers
Duo is an economical and flexible option for all-electric everyday driving, and is suited to various types of customers:
> Private customers (age 14 and up with the Duo 45 version, 18 and up with the 80 version)
> Professional customers (personal service providers and self-employed professionals)
> Companies (pool or service vehicles)
> Mobility operators
Mobilize’s private customers who choose Duo can opt for flexible subscription deals starting with 3-month agreements. The monthly payments can vary depending on the lease term. In all cases, customers will be able to order their Duo online with a few simple clicks on a specific website.
Professional customers will find a choice of long-term leases from Mobilize Financial Services. The deals for companies will be packaged to provide all the services that these customers expect – manufacturer warranty, maintenance, insurance and charging solutions. Duo is optimised to significantly reduce fleet operation costs compared with a 4-seater electric city car: its build is robust, it has a limited number of parts and no paint, etc.
“Through its subscription deals, Mobilize provides all the services relating to manufacturer warranties, maintenance, insurance and charging solutions. This all-inclusive package aims to provide private and professional customers with all-round peace of mind,” says Corinne Pakey, Duo and Bento Product Performance Leader, Mobilize.
Renault’s after-sales network will handle after-sales service for Duo, which can also be made available as a courtesy vehicle.
Bento, the handy everyday micro-van
Bento, a cargo version of Duo, has the same looks and is designed for professional customers who need a compact all-electric vehicle for last-kilometre services.
Bento has a closed boot at the back instead of the passenger seat. It is in the optimal position and provides close to 700 litres of usable capacity.
The box is rotomolded speckled-grey plastic and has two asymmetrical doors opening a generous 140 degrees. A hatch also makes it possible to carry long objects on the driver’s right-hand side. Additional interior amenities will be available to meet professionals’ various needs (for example tool racks).
Like Duo, Bento will have an anthracite-grey and orange body including customisable surfaces. The box can also be used for additional marking and customisation (on the lateral panels and the doors).
Bento will be available on long-term leases for professionals starting in 2024.
“Bento transfers Duo’s cool and endearing spirit into the van universe. It gives visibility to business activities and at the same meets demand in growing sectors such as last-kilometre services,” points out Benjamin Manceau, Duo and Bento Project Manager, Mobilize.