Mobilize Share and Zity by Mobilize: This is how new car sharing services are emerging

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ZOE Mobilize Car Sharing Zity By MOBILIZE Electromobility 2022 5

The transport landscape in urban areas is changing: In the face of traffic jams, driving bans and rising vehicle costs, more and more city dwellers are turning to car sharing. Many local governments favor this solution as it gives communities access to a wider range of transportation options. But how do operators and municipalities come to an agreement when introducing a car sharing offer? Which criteria have to be taken into account so that the project runs smoothly? Guillaume Naegelen, Head of Program of Mobilize, the Renault Group's mobility brand, on the launch of the Zity by Mobilize and Mobilize Share electric fleets in Madrid and Nice.

Mobilize Share and Zity by Mobilize

In principle, there are two types of car sharing models: station-based and free-floating systems. Mobilize's Zity is one of the free-floating offerings. The vehicles are available with no fixed pick-up and drop-off locations on the street. There is no minimum rental period. Users can complete their ride whenever and wherever they want within a set area. As a rule, most journeys last no longer than two or three hours.

Mobilize Share is a station-based carsharing solution: users can book the vehicles in advance for a certain period of time, thus ensuring that the desired mobility solution is available. Users will have to pick up and return vehicles to a specific location that serves both for parking and for charging vehicles, as is the case in Nice. Laurence Béchon explains that car sharing services work best in medium to large urban areas, where they complement existing modes of transport.

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When introducing a car sharing service, operators have to take various criteria into account. The number of inhabitants and jobs, density, the relationship between jobs and living space, the accessibility and efficiency of the available means of transport and competition are decisive factors. However, the weighting of these criteria differs between free-floating and station-based car-sharing services.

City by Mobilize in Madrid

Free-floating car-sharing services such as Zity by Mobilize are suitable for urban areas with high population density. People there are more open to using several different means of transport. In order to attract and retain customers in such a competitive environment, services must be affordable and uncomplicated. In addition, vehicles must be easy to park and free of charge. According to José Barrios, Operations Manager at Zity Madrid, free-floating car-sharing services such as Zity by Mobilize are suitable for large cities with more than 500.000 inhabitants. A certain number of vehicles must be available per kilometer. A car-sharing service is considered efficient when users can find a vehicle less than 300 meters away. This means that a city like Madrid with three million inhabitants needs 700 to 800 vehicles.

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Maintenance and charging facilities play a key role in keeping a fleet of this size on the road. José Barrios explains that Zity has an area of ​​3.000 square meters and employs 70 people who maintain the service.

Mobilize Share with 62 electric vehicles in Nice

Station-based services like Mobilize Share are better suited to medium-density urban areas where people use carsharing services only occasionally. In Nice, a city of around 340.000 inhabitants, the Mobilize Share fleet includes 62 electric vehicles, which is enough to meet the mobility needs of the residents. Their journeys usually take longer than those of free-floating car-sharing users. "The average rental period here is around seven hours," explains Guillaume Naegelen, Head of Program Mobilize Share. "Maintenance is taken care of by the local Renault dealer network."

Selection of the right solution

Once Mobilize has identified a potential site, the provider contacts the local administration. If necessary, those responsible for managing roads, traffic and parking lots will be involved in the project implementation. All participants then implement the project together.

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The area in which the service will be provided must be clearly defined. Numerous stations and easily recognizable boundaries of the service area, such as large boulevards or ring roads, create incentives for using free-floating car-sharing services. The outcome of the dialogue with the local authorities also depends on the length of the operator contract, the level of support and the possible fees for providing parking spaces.

In most cases, authorities support carsharing as it helps reduce noise and air pollution, especially in fully electric fleets. In addition, these services are easy to use, inexpensive and enjoying increasing popularity - a plus point for a modern, livable city. Photo credit: Renault

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