Romanian brand Smart Balance launches Europe’s first electric vehicle rental service with replaceable batteries under the e-Mobility Rentals brand. Hundreds of eco-friendly vehicles will deliver groceries in Romania.
The offer is initially aimed at companies, but later it will also be available to private individuals (car sharing and car rental). The electric vehicles with removable batteries are two- or three-seater quadricycles. You have two batteries with a range of up to 150 km, but a great advantage is that once these batteries are discharged, they can be exchanged free of charge for 100% charged batteries in one of Smart Balance’s 10 exchange stations in Bucharest.
In the near future, the Romanian company e-Mobility Rentals plans to diversify its rental fleet with both several four-wheeler models and electric cars, both with replaceable batteries.
Discharged batteries can be replaced with 100% charged ones at one of the 10 Bucharest charge swap stations placed at key points in all sectors of Bucharest, allowing the user to take advantage of this easily and quickly. As a result, these electric vehicles can run on petrol like a car without interruption, and at significantly lower prices.
“We created a rental concept that was originally intended to be B2B to help food delivery companies such as Takeaway, Glovo, UberEats, Tazz etc. but the productive range of uses of this rental model is also beneficial for private use by individuals. With these EVs and easy battery swapping via the Charging Swap Station service (available via an app developed by Smart Balance), I want to eliminate the fear of using EVs due to range anxiety. Basically, we offer an electric vehicle and scooter rental service that on the one hand supports urban mobility by relieving congestion and on the other hand reduces pollution in urban areas,” said Pruna Cosmin, CEO of e-Mobility Rentals.
Charging stations in Bucharest – unlimited autonomy
These changing stations help people stop wasting time charging their battery as it can be done in less than a minute. The place will be small, and only one parking space will be needed to serve several such electric vehicles.
“The idea of changing the battery came from the need to protect the environment and give road users UNLIMITED range. We created this concept due to the lack of infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, as well as the battery technology, which still does not offer us an optimal price for the desired quality.
We targeted both electric cars and electric scooters using the CATL branded battery infrastructure used by battery giant Tesla to increase the range of each lithium battery. Both cars and scooters can be used with the universal battery, which has a range of 70 km for cars and 100 km for scooters,” said Pruna Cosmin.
e-Mobility Rentals customers for these electric vehicles include food suppliers in Bucharest who want more than 500 of these electric vehicles. Currently, the first 100 electric vehicles have arrived in Romania and another 200-300 units will arrive by spring.
What is the range of electric vehicles
Initially, two types of electric vehicles will be available, one for people that can be used successfully by catering companies and another with significant storage space that can be used to transport goods/products. Its range under normal conditions is about 160 km with two batteries, but with 10 stations to change and charge the batteries, the range becomes unlimited.
The electric vehicles have two 55 Ah CATL batteries, one lead-acid and one lithium, each giving a range of 80 km. They are at the back under the seat.
Once the first battery dies, riders can plug in the second for an additional 50 miles of range. If a driver needs more than two batteries for 24 hours, which are included in the monthly rental price, he can pick up the 3rd battery at an exchange station for a fee of 10 lei.
This is how much the new electric vehicles cost
The first 100 four-wheelers arriving in Romania have a 4 kW (5.5 hp) electric motor and can be driven by 16-year-olds with a category B1 driving licence. A model costs around 17,000 euros. With the bonus of the Rabla Plus program, the price is halved. The cars can be bought in installments from delivery companies.
In the near future, e-Mobility Rentals will offer the rental of high-performance electric vehicles classified in the M1 class on the Romanian market. These premium models will have a range of around 300 km and be able to drive at speeds of up to 120 km/h, which will significantly expand the range of use of this rental system.
e-Mobility Rentals will offer both quads and electric cars with replaceable batteries for rent and sale. Also available in the fleet are electric scooters that use the same battery as the quads.
The electric scooters available for hire have a range of 100 km and, depending on the model chosen, can be driven with a category A (maximum speed 80 km/h) or B (maximum speed 45 km/h) driving licence. By March, 100 electric scooters will be in the rental fleet to ease demand in the spring-autumn season.
e-Mobility Rentals wants to be present in other cities of Romania through a franchise system where dealers buy electric vehicles, batteries and exchange equipment from the importer and use its know-how to implement this range of products and services in the desired coverage area.
The Romanian company is also present in Belgium, where it plans to launch a rental service for electric vehicles with removable batteries. Greece and Spain are also on the list.
Smart Balance has been in the electric vehicle market for about 6 years. The company has patented 1-2 mobility products every year. It is now also active in countries like France, Germany, UK, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Romania, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Poland and is constantly expanding.