Have you Heard of Mobilize?

New brand is part of the Renault Group and focuses on finding innovative solutions for transportation. The latest one is the Mobilize Duo, an evolution of the Renault Twizy

Mobilize has two versions of its minicar: the Duo (left) for passengers and the Bento for cargo

Car ownership has been changing fast. Emission concerns are accelerating the rise of electrification. Traffic issues in big cities are limiting where you can drive. The semiconductor shortage is affecting production in the whole world. And rising prices are making cars more expensive to buy and to keep. In fact, entry-level cars are becoming inviable for everyone. This is the context in which Mobilize comes to the rescue.

Renault created the brand to focus on alternative solutions for transportation. While the concept is great, Mobilize needed a strong product to offer right away, otherwise it would lose itself in the limbo of similar startups. The parent company did not hesitate to act: the Twizy microcar has received a new generation with upgrades of all kinds. One of them is going to a brand where it will have more relevance than ever.

The Mobilize Duo is an evolutionary update to the Twizy's concept (source: Renault Group)
The Mobilize Duo is an evolutionary update to the Twizy’s concept (source: Renault Group)

What is the Mobilize Duo?

The key features are simple: tiny size to make it agile on crowded streets, and electric propulsion to make it efficient. Ten years ago, people saw the Twizy as an experiment because they did not really need such a car. Now, things have changed so much that the same recipe has everything to become the norm. In fact, Mobilize is so confident that it opted for mostly improving the project rather than making it different.

2023 Mobilize Duo (source: Renault Group)
2023 Mobilize Duo (source: Renault Group)

The Duo seats two people in tandem and gives them small storage spaces. It is 8 ft long, 4.2 ft wide, and 4.8 ft high; the maker claims “you can park three Duo cars perpendicularly in a standard parking space”. It uses an electric motor on the rear and comes in two versions. One is limited to the top speed of 28 mph and does not need a driver’s license for ages of 14 and older, while the regular one goes to 50 mph.

There are more tech specs. It uses a tubular structure with polypropylene body panels. The bumpers have wraparound design to protect against small impacts and are actually the same part, which reduces costs. The company aims to build it with 50% recycled materials and to make the car 95% recyclable at the end of its life. And the doors open upwards to make access easy even when it is parked at a tight region.

There are six customizable areas on the Duo's exterior (source: Renault Group)
There are six customizable areas on the Duo’s exterior (source: Renault Group)

Mobilize has a fun side

As you can see, this is not an ordinary professional car. Mobilize drew inspiration from 1980s and 1990s videogaming, not unlike Renault. The Duo has six external areas which the owner can customize and uses a dashboard styled as a boombox. It features a horizontal digital gauge cluster, a speaker, a USB-C port, a smartphone holder to the right, and the gearshift lever to the left. And the steering wheel has an airbag.

Dashboard of the Mobilize Duo (source: Renault Group)
Dashboard of the Mobilize Duo (source: Renault Group)

The cabin has big windows to allow plenty of light in, which is important in such a small car. The seats are fully padded, to offer maximum comfort, and use TEP upholstery, which is easy to wash. The driver’s seat slides back and forth to make access to the rear one easier. Besides that, Mobilize states that the Duo can perfectly carry a wheelchair inside and offers the necessary adaptations to the steering wheel.

The company will also provide a long list of accessories for whoever wants to further customize their Duo. The goal is to perfectly blend the vehicle into the urban lifestyle. While the Twizy was considered an alien, the Duo invests in flexibility and adaptability. That new focus should abandon the experimental character for a modern mainstream image. It should make it popular especially among young drivers in big cities.

The Bento replaces the rear half of the cabin with a cargo area (source: Renault Group)
The Bento replaces the rear half of the cabin with a cargo area (source: Renault Group)

What is the Mobilize Bento?

If you have to haul objects, rather than a person, the new brand has another vehicle for you. The Bento is the cargo version, which explains the big, orange box behind the driver’s seat. It provides around 700 L of cargo room, and it has a hatch that allows long objects to protrude to the right of the driver. As usual, the company offers a long list of customization accessories to tailor the Bento to specific lines of business.

2023 Mobilize Bento (source: Renault Group)
2023 Mobilize Bento (source: Renault Group)

All the rest is shared with the Duo. They feature no body paint which could scratch and/or fade over time. As Mobilize states, the plastic parts are “purpose-engineered to reduce signs of wear as time goes by and to make scratches invisible”. Another interesting feature is keyless access using a smartphone: sharing the car among many users through the day, especially at the workplace, will become easier than ever.

Mobilize will only offer those cars through subscription services. Professional clients can sign up for long-term plans that include all services such as insurance, warranty, and maintenance. Besides, they can order the addition or removal of software functions at any time using over-the-air updates. The Duo will also be available to private customers as well, with the option of short-term plans of at least three months.

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