Pierre Bardina, CEO of Nino Robotics
Pierre Bardina, CEO of Nino Robotics. Credit: Groupe Renault Communication/All rights reserved

Renault Group, the international car manufacturer, has signed a new partnership with French mobility manufacturer Nino Robotics, throwing its financial backing behind a new electric vehicle from the powerchair and wheelchair power add-on supplier.

Signed on the 3rd December 2019 by Renault Group’s Social and Sustainable Impact Department, the automotive behemoth will provide valuable support to the mobility equipment manufacturer as it develops its new NINO4 technology.

In a comment to THIIS, a spokesperson from Renault Group confirmed: “The Group has acquired a stake [in Nino Robotics] via Mobilize Invest, its CSR investment company dedicated to projects with a strong social impact in the field of mobility.”

Selling close to 3.9 million vehicles in 134 countries in 2018, with 36 manufacturing sites, 12,700 points of sales and employing more than 180,000 people worldwide, Renault says the investment is part of its mission to develop sustainable and accessible mobility solutions for all.

Advertisement | Continue story below

The designer of stylish powerchairs based on gyroscopic technology, Nino Robotics was founded in 2004 and currently designs and markets two products: Nino, a self-balanced personal carrier and One, a scooter designed for wheelchairs.

Since launching, Nino Robotics has sold more than 400 Nino and 140 One for a total turnover of nearly 2.5 million euros, with Nino models available in the UK from select mobility retailers, including recently Clearwell Mobility.

Renault Group invests in mobility company Nino Robotics
Groupe Renault Communication/All rights reserved

According to Renault Group, the objective of the partnership is to contribute to the development of Nino Robotics and its new NINO4, an electric transporter which will see the French mobility supplier move into the world of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and ‘micro-mobility’.

With NINO4, Pierre Bardina, Founder and CEO of Nino Robotics, intends to offer a solution far removed from those usually offered to people with reduced mobility, asserts Renault.

Described as a “seated personal transporter,” the product will feature a sleek and colourful design, require minimal space and be connected to provide users with data, such as battery charge level, speed and mileage.

In addition, a “Follow Me” function will allow a third party to guide NINO4 and its user by auto-follow.

“The concept of NINO4 is to create the desire to use a small electric device with a disruptive design,” commented Pierre Bardina, CEO of Nino Robotics.

“NINO4 is driven by everyone, including seniors, people with disabilities, or anyone with difficulties in their movements or movements, temporarily or permanently. Because Nino Robotics’ design significantly improves self-esteem, it has a very strong influence on the socialization of its users and, by rebound, on their morale and health.”

Confirming intentions to increase production to an industrial scale, the involvement of Renault will not only provide Nino Robotics with financial backing but also give the mobility company access to the automotive manufacturer’s experts in engineering, motorisation, connectivity and more.

Pierrick Cornet, Renault’s Alliance Project Director and mentor of Nino Robotics, said: “We deeply appreciate this opportunity to promote exchanges between our teams and Nino Robotics: this meets to the ambition of many employees of the Group, including myself, to get involved in actions with a societal objective.”

MaaS appeal in the automotive industry

With Renault’s investment in Nino Robotics, it marks the second automotive titan to make a move towards creating mobility solutions for the disabled and elderly, following Toyota’s declaration to create mobility scooters and power add-ons in 2020/21.

Both moves from the car manufacturers signal their intentions to gain a foothold in the expanding MaaS market specifically for disabled and elderly people with mobility needs.

As the automotive shifts increasingly to electric cars, in turn rapidly developing battery technology, alongside a global demographic trend of people living longer and a growing recognition of the power of the purple pound, it is likely more automotive players will turn their attentions to the mobility sector.

THIIS ROUND-UP
Join the 2,500+ mobility professionals who stay informed with THIIS' twice-weekly industry updates.
We respect your privacy
https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Renault-Group-acquire-stake-and-partner-with-Nino-Robotics.jpg?fit=900%2C675&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Renault-Group-acquire-stake-and-partner-with-Nino-Robotics.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettMergers & AcquisitionsNewsroomSupplier NewsTrade Newsautomotive manufacturer,car,Clearwell Mobility,Groupe Renault,investment,MaaS,mobility-as-a-service,Mobilize Invest,Nino Robotics,NINO4,One,Renault Group,Social and Sustainable Impact Department,ToyotaRenault Group, the international car manufacturer, has signed a new partnership with French mobility manufacturer Nino Robotics, throwing its financial backing behind a new electric vehicle from the powerchair and wheelchair power add-on supplier.Signed on the 3rd December 2019 by Renault Group’s Social and Sustainable Impact Department, the automotive...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals