Renault expands mobility services as COVID restrictions ease

PARIS – Renault Group announces that it is expanding its short-term rental program, known as Zity, beyond current operations in Paris and Madrid to capture an expected boom in vehicle rentals amid pandemic restrictions relax.

“It is restarting very, very well,” Clotilde Delbos, deputy managing director of the Renault group and head of the automaker’s new Mobilize Mobility business unit, told Bloomberg. “As soon as a containment is lifted, there is a burst of activity.”

Renault claims to have more than 400,000 users and 12,000 cars in its short-term self-service rental program, also known as carpooling. Delbos, who spoke at the VivaTech entrepreneurs fair in Paris on June 16, did not say which cities would get the Zity service next.

Mobilize also runs similar programs in the French cities of Toulouse and Nice, and in Bergamo, Italy.

Delbos and other key Mobilize executives also revealed the names of three electric vehicles specially designed for use in mobility services: the Duo, for carpooling; Hippo, for “last mile” deliveries; and Bento, for the transport of small goods.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo launched Mobilize earlier this year as part of his Renaulution plan to turn around the losing carmaker. It is counting on mobility services generating more than 20% of Renault’s turnover by the end of 2030.

In addition to short-term rentals and specially designed electric vehicles, Mobilize’s other services include carpooling, possibly with an electric sedan built with Chinese partners; financial services such as subscriptions via the subsidiary of the RCI Bank group; and energy management such as charging stations or storage using “second life” EV batteries.

Renault plans to offer Mobilize services in Morocco, Russia and Turkey as well as China, Delbos said.

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