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Paris Hire Cars Go Electric: Vive La Difference?

Posted By Paul Tate, December 07, 2011 at 2:53 AM, in Category: Sustainability

Fancy a romantic spin along the Champs-Élysées, or a quiet ride up to Montmartre? Now you can go green in an all-electric hire car.

Yesterday, the city of Paris began a new electric vehicle hire scheme called Autolib with an initial 250 four-seater EV’s ready for collection and drop off at self-service locations around the French capital. The hire fleet is expected to expand to over 3,000 cars available from 1,100 hire ranks in the city by the middle of next year.

Paris claims to be the first major city to deploy an all-electric shared car fleet using longer lasting, French-developed, Lithium Metal Polymer (LMP) battery technology that will run for 250 km (155 miles) on each 4-hour charge.

The all-electric Bluecars are built by French EV auto company Bolloré, have been designed by Italy’s Pininfarina, and have a top speed of around 80 mph. Each one has its own GPS, has been made as vandal-proof as possible, has a panic button connecting you to a support team, and costs four to five euros ($6) for each half hour of use.

So, is everybody happy? Of course not. This is France. Parisienne taxi drivers have already tried to take the new scheme to court as ‘unfair competition’. Ah, c’est la vie!

Would you be tempted to go electric next time you’re in Paris? Do major cities in your part of the world plan similar electric car sharing schemes?

Are such urban schemes likely to be successful in helping to introduce more drivers to the electric option, and boost the overall market for EV and new battery manufacturers?

Category: Sustainability
Written by Paul Tate

Paul Tate is Research Director and Executive Editor with Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Council's Board of Governors, the Council's annual Critical Issues Agenda, and the Manufacturing Leadership Research Panel. Follow us on Twitter: @MfgExecutive


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