The so-called “last mile delivery” is the final stage of the supply chain, along which goods are transported to their final destination: restaurants, shops, offices or even private houses. The service should be not only environmentally friendly, but also conducive to improving conditions in cities – to make them a more pleasant place to live. You can find more visual details of the 2021 Mobilize EZ-FLEX gallery by scrolling up.
EZ-FLEX: the easy way to city delivery
In 2019, the Renault Group launched a feedback-gathering pilot project to help better understand the needs and expectations of delivery service users – city governments, municipalities and companies. It was attended by the French postal service (La Poste), the Montpellier-Mediterranean metropolis, the city administration of Montpellier and SEV (Services Ecusson Vert).
The tests were carried out on the basis of the maneuverable compact electric vehicle EZ-FLEX, designed specifically for use in dense urban development. With a turning circle of 4.5 m, it can easily navigate narrow city streets.
The cars were equipped with sensors to collect metrics such as GPS coordinates, mileage, door openings, speed, and stops.
From an ergonomic point of view, the car is thought out to the smallest detail. The extra-wide driver’s doorway makes getting in and out of the vehicle easy, which is essential when there are a lot of goods to be delivered every day. In addition, the EZ-FLEX cargo hold has a low sill and a convenient door design that allows access to the entire storage area. A variety of vehicle rear module configurations have been tested to meet the different needs of commercial users.
Towards New Delivery Service Opportunities
The final phase of the initial test cycle will take place at the end of the year and will provide the Renault Group with enough valuable information to continue working on city vehicles for the delivery services of the future. The experiment confirmed that users are interested in electric vehicles that provide a more relaxed driving experience, which is highly appreciated by both delivery drivers and ordinary city residents. In addition, users liked the compact size of the car and the ease of control due to the ultra-small turning diameter.
Users especially noted the easy access to the cargo compartment, organized from the sides through large doors without pillars, which greatly simplifies the processes of loading and unloading. Due to the small diameter of the wheels, the cargo compartment floor is at a height of 70 cm. During the experiment, tests were carried out with different heights of the rear compartment floor in order to find the optimal parameters for the delivery staff.
Various configurations of the driver’s seat were also tested. For example, the seat adjustment has been changed to make it easier for drivers of all sizes to get in and out of the vehicle. During the testing phase, a keyless entry card was introduced, which allows you not to put boxes on the ground when opening and closing doors. Special attention was paid to safety, with engineers re-positioning the side mirrors and verticalizing the windshield to improve visibility on city roads. Finally, the car floor has been flattened and the passenger seat can be folded down, making it easier to exit through the passenger door, which drivers use almost 15% of the time, depending on traffic. Thanks to additional proposals formulated during discussions with strategic partners.
You can find more visual details of the 2021 Mobilize EZ-FLEX gallery by scrolling up.
2021 Mobilize EZ-FLEX
Options for other test cycles are being considered, including those related to various services. The second phase of testing will help Mobilize determine the range of solutions that can be offered to commercial users in the future. These will include cars and last mile delivery services.
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