Renault has its own 100% electric car sharing: Zity. It starts from Milan. Zity is the result of a joint venture between infrastructure operator Ferrovial and Mobilize, the Renault Group’s mobility company.
It starts with a fleet of 450 Dacia Spring, compact and robust vehicle 3.73 meters long, and six thousand pre-registered users. All cars are equipped with Apple Car Play and Android Auto connection. The service is free floating: the cars, that is, can be rented and delivered anywhere in the city. But users will not be able to recharge: the French manufacturer, which has signed agreements with, will take care of it managers of public and private columns, and has a fleet of electric vans that can restore battery life in an hour. Italy is the third country where Zity is available: the first city was Madrid, where it started in 2017, followed by Paris (2020) and Lyon (2022).
A charge for the minutes the car is stationary
According to the data reported by Zity, 340 thousand Milanese claim to be active users of car sharing. The profile of the average user? From 36 to 45 years, of which 62% use the car daily for their journeys. According to Zity, demographics and purchasing power pay off Milan is one of the ideal cities to launch the service. The main novelty of Renault’s car sharing will be the standby tariff, reduced compared to normal. Those who rent the car to go to the supermarket, the company explains, will pay a normal rate while driving, and a reduced rate while shopping. The system will take care of applying the best rate among those available, automatically moving to the higher range without the need to book in advance.
For recharging, Zity has signed agreements with public and private operators, and has a team of electric vans capable of recharge the cars in one hour without having to move them. The cars will be equipped with safety devices on board to monitor driving in real time and report improper behavior. According to the company, the program, called Safety Pilot, has made it possible to reduce accidents by 36% in Madrid, where it was launched in 2020. According to the company, arriving in the city will generate around 50 jobs, 20% of which chosen from unemployed or disadvantaged people in the region.
The future of car sharing
“Car sharing has reached a stage of maturity – dice a Wired Thiago Figueira, general manager Italia di Zity -. The signal is when a group starts buying competitors“. In May Stellantis bought Share Now. But this is a historically difficult sector to make sustainable. Between municipal taxes, maintenance, accidents, fuel (or electricity) the moment of the accounts, that of making profits, is always difficult. The fact that Renault uses the Dacia Spring, which are cheaper than other cars on the road, can be interpreted as proof that experience teaches, and the focus is on lower costs right from the start. But not only. Investments are also made for other reasons.
Through car sharing, the car manufacturers they study the driving habits of users to propose vehicles increasingly in line with preferences. Not to mention that young people are less interested in ownership, and more in the use of the car. “Our goal is twofold, but it doesn’t mean that Zity doesn’t have to be sustainable per se, and this is achieved with economies of scale. In Madrid .- says Figueira anyway – we have arrived at breakeven, and Milan will take advantage of the accumulated experience“. On the use of data, the manager resumes,”we respect the GDPR and like everyone we use them to improve the service, but we do not sell them to third parties“.
The damage chapter
Painful chapter: that of damages. Vehicles are often dented, and it is difficult to trace who was responsible. That of report scratches and dents before taking delivery of the car is a crucial issue in the so-called “customer journey”: you look for the vehicle, go to pick it up, then spend minutes checking the mirrors and sides to be sure there are no surprises on the invoice. Is it possible that there is no solution? “The problem actually exists, and it belongs to all operators. Our proposal in this regard is still the classic one, and we are aware that there is still room for improvement. For example, for the concerned user, we are introducing the possibility of reducing the deductible from one thousand to two hundred and fifty euros by paying 2.49 euros more than the normal rental.”, says Figueira.
However, the manager is keen to point out, “we already have pioneered some alternatives such as the use of photographs, but users replied in the negative: they find it challenging. Our goal is not to leave damaged vehicles in the fleet. It also depends on the insurance package that the individual operator has subscribed to: from this point of view, we have all the tools to ensure that the vehicles are accommodated, because our coverage is not limited to theft and fire.”.