Established in the south of France in Marseille in 2015, TOTEM mobi is an electric carsharing service that uses the compact, easy-to-maneuver Renault Twizy to make urban and suburban driving easy. Read on for a solution dedicated to inclusive, community-oriented mobility.
“Small vehicles, Small trips, Small prices” could be the motto of this carsharing service, already adopted by 15,000 users. TOTEM mobi was created to achieve three main goals: to reduce traffic, to diminish pollution, and to offer a mobility solution accessible to all. The answer? Renault Twizys – small, agile electric cars, perfect for short distances and easy to park – available for self-service rental, 24/7, for the record low price of 7 cents per minute. This is two to three times less than using a ride-hailing or carsharing service with a traditional vehicle which, in Paris for example, costs an average of 30 cents per minute.
Like most free-floating shared mobility services, TOTEM mobi works through a mobile application. After downloading the app, the user creates a profile using an ID, a driver’s license and a bank card, adds tokens to their account – mobility tokens that can be purchased online to pay for travel – and they’re ready to go. The user can then use their GPS to find the closest Twizy, reserve it, and even start it up through the application using Bluetooth®. At the end of the trip, this pocket-sized electric vehicle can be parked free of charge in a parking lot or hooked up to one of the charging stations shown on the application. The rental must begin and end in the green zones indicated on the application and indicated by a light inside the vehicle. In the meantime, users can go wherever they want. Nearly 180 Twizy TOTEMS are available today in the streets of Marseille.
With the TOTEM mobi service, “Jockeys” are responsible for the charging, geographic distribution, and maintenance of the vehicles. But users can also contribute – via a system of bonuses – to minimize the need for Jockey intervention. Plugging a Twizy TOTEM into a charging station at the end of the rental earns users up to two tokens; when the remaining range is less than 13 kilometers, users earn five tokens.
As for the distribution of the fleet, starting a rental in a zone with low demand (generally outside the city center) earns users two tokens. On the other hand, finishing a journey there costs two extra tokens. Through this system, each individual’s actions can help optimize and improve the fluidity of the service.
In addition to its clearly-defined goals of reducing traffic through carsharing and decreasing pollution through “zero emissions*” electric vehicles, since its conception the service has also aimed to offer inclusive mobility. This vision is shared by Groupe Renault, who have supported the development of TOTEM mobi with Mobilize, a solidarity-based mobility program that invests in and supports start-ups working towards sustainable mobility.
The service aims to offer an alternative to public transport in locations where fewer options are available or when the network cannot meet the needs of the population: for example those who work outside office hours. TOTEM mobi has thereby integrated the issue of access to employment with that of access to mobility.
“In addition to the service offered in Marseille, the TOTEM mobi solution using Renault Twizy vehicles is a carsharing model that can be deployed in other French cities by public bodies in the form of a Cooperative Society of Collective Interest. One example is Grenoble’s Atomic Energy Commission, which uses the TOTEM mobi solution for trips around its 64-hectare site,” explains Cyrille Estrade, General Manager of TOTEM mobi. In 2020, TOTEM Twizy vehicles will start appearing in Avignon and throughout the Aix-Marseille-Provence conurbation. La Ciotat, a town with 35,000 inhabitants, is also preparing to welcome them. The project is led by the City Hall, showing that shared mobility solutions are not only for large urban conglomerations! Numerous other projects are being developed, including some beyond France’s borders.
*Neither atmospheric emissions of CO2 nor pollutants while driving (excluding wear parts).
Copyrights: Totem mobi. Thomas Kendall
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