Renault Twizy electric quadricycle reinvented as 2023 Mobilize Duo
As part of its Z.E. electric vision back in 2009, Renault revealed a fun-loving four-wheeled compact EV designed as a nimble city getabout. Now company offshoot Mobilize is heading to the 2022 Paris Motor Show with an updated model called the Duo.
Renault's idea for a compact two-seat electric quadricycle with no side windows and a limited top speed was one of four Z.E. range vehicle presented at 2009's Frankfurt Motor Show – the others being the Zoe city car and electric versions of the Fluence family car and Kangoo Express small van. Reservations for the Twizy were opened a couple of years later.
Now the company's Mobilize brand is rolling into Paris next week with an update called the Duo. The tandem city EV will be available by the end of 2023 in two flavors – one with a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph) that can be driven without a driving permit in some countries from the age of 14, and another that tops out at 80 km/h (~50 mph) and will require a Class B license.
Presented in an eye-catching gray/orange color combination, the electric quadricycle is built around a tubular frame with unpainted polypropylene body panels and modular/adaptable surfaces. The company is aiming to use more than 50% recycled materials for its construction, and it's designed so that it's 95% recyclable at the end of its service life.
The micro-quad measures 2.43 m (7.9 ft) in length, has a width of 1.3 m 4.2 ft) and stands 1.46 m (4.7 ft) high, so it will boast a tight turning circle and you'll be able to fit three of these things side by side in a regular parking spot, assisted by two large doors that open upward – not outward. And unlike early Twizy designs, the doors sport windows to help shield occupants from inclement weather.
The rear-wheel-drive vehicle will offer a per-charge range of 140 km (87 miles) – pending World Motorcycle Test Cycle certification – and comes supplied with a fixed charging cable in the teeny frunk that can support either home or public charging.
The driver can look forward to keyless access and power on via a smartphone, the easy wash interior features padded seating for two in durable upholstery, and Mobilize reckons that a passenger who is up to 1.8 m (5.9 ft) in height should comfortably fit in back, helped along by a sliding front seat.
There are storage nooks on either side of the front seat big enough to accommodate cabin luggage, and an airbag in the steering wheel has been included. Plans also call for the Duo to be capable of hauling a folding wheelchair, and can be optioned with additional steering wheel controls.
In front of the driver is a funky customizable boombox-inspired dash with a digital instrument cluster in the center, and a built-in smartphone grip with handy USB-C charging port nearby plus an integrated speaker.
The vehicle is designed for ride-sharing operations, but will also be available to individual drivers via leasing, while fleet managers benefit from built-in connectivity for remote access to vehicle data. Over-the-air updates also allow for control of connected services, as well as feature upgrades.
"Duo is sensible and tickles the senses," said the director of Design Projects at Mobilize, Eric Diemert. "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."
Similar to the Cargo-edition Twizy, the Duo will also be offered as a micro delivery van called the Bento, which has a 700-liter rotomolded plastic box out back instead of the rear passenger seat. Two asymmetric doors open at the rear, and a hatch to the right of the driver inside allows for longer cargo to be hauled around. This model is expected to be available from 2024.
And in another micro-mobility twist, Mobilize has revealed a one-seat electric three-wheeler concept ahead of the Paris Motor Show, which opens its doors on October 17.
The Solo micro-EV is reported to be the brainchild of the company's India branch, and is essentially a covered reverse trike that the single-seated occupant can ride up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph) without needing a license, features joystick control rather than a steering wheel and measures just 1.37 m (4.2 ft) long, 0.9 m (2.9 ft) wide and 1.75 m (5.7 ft) high.
A standard car parking space can accommodate six Solo vehicles, and charging options will include wireless (inductive), hot-swap batteries and plug-in.