A three-box electric sedan for taxis and VTCs, via a monthly subscription system. This is what Mobilize Driver Solutions offers to encourage professionals to switch to clean mobility. So, from driver to passenger: what is the Mobilize Limo worth?
Direction Madrid, and more specifically at Renault Retail Group. And for good reason: Mobilize is none other than the Group’s new brand dedicated to clean and shared mobility. The Mobilize Limo is a rebadged Chinese sedan, the Ezoom Yi, also belonging to the Renault group. VTC and taxi ambitions oblige, we have chosen 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 the Mobilize Limo!
Mobilize Driver Solutions: the promise
Diesel should leave the capital in 2024, and Uber go all-electric (50% of which by 2025!). With its Mobilize Driver Solutions service, the young brand promises an innovative and 100% electric service, with no unpleasant surprises. Taxis and VTC can count on a complete formula, which in principle meets all the criteria sought:
- A vehicle authorized everywhere
- Always ready to hit the road
- Reduced charging time
- Professional all-risk insurance
- Maintenance included (consumables and wear parts including tires)
- Priority support when needed
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- A single point of contact for all needs
The rental without contribution as well as the insurance and maintenance included are the key 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 which allows drivers to be immobilized as little as possible. The 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 first be launched in France and Spain. The first 40 Limo will be in service in Madrid from the end of June, and in Paris in autumn 2022.
Design and conception of the Mobilize Limo
The Mobilize Limo is a large electric sedan of Chinese origin, intended for VTC and taxi rental only. Understand by this that she will not be not available for sale. It is therefore logical that it responds to certain codes sought within the profession. A three-box sedan, sufficiently spacious, neat 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 characterful, halfway between Tesla Model 3 and Toyota Prius. The fault of all-LED lighting, which is certainly modern, but very inspired, both front and rear. The car nevertheless welcomes flush handles with automatic deployment, chrome inserts, and nice 17-inch rims. Only the Mobilize logos (hood, trunk, doors) mark a difference with the Ezoom Yi.
You will have understood it, the Limo is a rather neat car in its design, but does not transcend by its design. After all, you shouldn’t take too many risks, Mobilize is still aiming for 20% of the group’s turnover by 2030! An objective 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. The 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. However, between white, gray, and black, it is certainly the latter that will be the most successful.
Performance and ergonomics: driver’s side
Let’s talk about the experience behind the wheel of the Mobilize Limo. We take place aboard a sedan with modern equipment, tinted with some details sometimes too “low-cost”. The driving position is quite special, the body well back and the knees a little high. Not uncomfortable, however, the electric seats look good, both front and rear. The long slab incorporates a 10.25-inch instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen. The latter does not shine by its reactivity, and does not integrate native GPS navigation. You will 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 fault with a plastic material not very rewarding, just like the air conditioning control, a little sad.
Concretely, it does the job, but it’s light years away from any good modern sedan, even generalist. On the performance side, the Mobilize Limo has an electric motor of 160 horsepower and 225 Nm of torque. 3 driving modes Eco, Standard and Sport are offered. In practice, there is very little, if any, difference between the modes. If not a more responsive pedal map in Sport. Same observation on the energy recovery side, on 3 levels, of which we do not 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 Limo is limited to 140 km/h, perfect for urban and suburban races like Paris and around. If the driving is quiet and the chassis sound enough on its favorite terrain, it is clear that the sedan is not the most precise in more “dynamic” conditions.
Autonomy and recharging: 250 km in 40 minutes
Because of progressive but uninformative steering at low speeds, sporty driving is a no-no. And that’s not too 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, AC and DC compatible. In “ultra fast” charging, we recover nearly 250 km in 40 minutes. Mobilize values: AC 7 kW, up to 11 kW, fast charging up to 75 kW with optimal stability at 60 kW. In practice, we reach nearly 400 km with a combined consumption of 15.7 kWh in suburban areas.
The consumption climbs to 17 kWh with the foot slightly heavier (i.e. 350 km maximum). But putting things in context, the Mobilize Limo should excel in big cities. In Paris, for example, driving between 30 and 50 km/h on short journeys should greatly promote autonomy. What reduce the time of charging (and therefore immobilization) of the vehicle. According to data from Mobilize, drivers travel an average of 250 to 300 km per day. For this average, the brand announces a monthly electrical budget of around €80. The real autonomy in urban areas should therefore meet the needs of drivers, not to mention the fast charge, which is very practical.
Comfort and roominess : passenger side
After the driving experience, you put yourself in the shoes of the passenger. Let’s start with the equipment. The rear passengers of the Mobilize Limo have two USB sockets, the volume control, and the airflow control. Lights and cup holders are also included. The vegetable leather seats echo the position at the front: propped up at the back, knees high. On the other hand, we benefit from a very good radius of 288 at the knees. A very comfortable space made possible by the 2.75 m wheelbase of the Limo. A habitability that makes us appreciate the rear seats! The seat is a little firm, however, and this feeling is reinforced by the rather dry damping of the vehicle. The irregularities of the road go up a little too much for our taste, until patting on the back in the event of a large pothole.
Fortunately, customers don’t really have to make long journeys on board. The comfort is therefore correct for urban journeys, but the passenger in the middle will remain punished. This is because of the central armrest (backrest), and the tunnel between the feet: no totally flat floor in sight. Note also the wide door openings, which facilitate access on board. Beyond the seat, passengers will also benefit from a rather generous 500-litre trunk. Enough to hold two large suitcases and two cabin suitcases. The driver will appreciate a little less access to the trunk, which is not the easiest when it is necessary to load or unload suitcases at the bottom.
Mobilize Limo and Driver Solutions: what the professionals think
Judging the performance, quality, and general performance of the car, we know how to do (well, we hope). This is absolutely not the case for the Mobilize Driver Solutions subscription offers and prices. So we surveyed a few drivers around us to get an idea of what the pros think. Here is a summary of their opinion on the service. Mohamed, taxi: “It’s a good idea, compared to thermals in the capital, it’s okay. Today just in fuel I am at around 1,000 € per month. I ride more than average, but most in the Paris region do 200 to 250 km per day. And there, it is very advantageous in terms of costs. And then soon my diesel E-Class will no longer be able to go everywhere so it is to be considered and tested. Insurance €200, annual maintenance €800… It goes quickly. »
“There, having an all-inclusive service is really interesting. Well, the deductible of €1,500 is important, but that’s the game. You can’t have everything”. A similar observation with Alex, VTC: “in the Paris region, we are 9 out of 10 to be self-employed. The costs climb very quickly and 150 € saved over a month is not negligible. Especially if everything is included which makes a lot of things easier. Priority in addition it is a great argument. Afterwards, the commitment over 3 years is perhaps not ideal, but we will have to see the other formulas”. Two other drivers are of the same opinion and wish to be able to adjust the mileage if necessary. Josué and Assia, for example, indicate that they travel nearly 65,000 km per year. Like them, we remain on the lookout for the complete Mobilize Driver Solutions offer, and the packages offered.