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Electric car-sharing concept speeds up

Wednesday, 21 December 2011 | By Michelle Hammond

Paris has launched an electric car-sharing program to cut air and noise pollution on the city’s medieval cobblestone streets and beyond.


Autolib, a project built on the success of the city’s bike rental scheme, recently made its debut with a rollout of 250 vehicles. The city expects to have 3,000 on the streets within two years.


Subscriptions cost $13 a day, $20 a week and $189 a year.


The car is a collaboration of Italian car designer Pininfarina and French conglomerate Groupe Bolloré, which hopes to showcase the Lithium Metal Polymer battery that powers the car.


According to billionaire entrepreneur and Bolloré chief Vincent Bolloré, the project is a long-term investment for the group, which also sells buses using the same battery technology.


“We estimate that the project will be profitable from the seventh year. An industrial group like ours is used to [its investments] turning a profit from the sixth or seventh year,” Bolloré says.


The Bolloré group hopes that by unclogging Paris streets and giving visitors a taste of driving an all-electric car, they will create a platform for selling their technology outside of France.


Could a similar concept be rolled out here? Why not look into it?