Autolib hits the streets of Paris
Paris on Sunday launched the world’s first electric car-share scheme modelled on the capital's popular bicycle-sharing system, Vel’ib. The Autolib venture, set up by prominent businessman Vincent Bolloré, is in an initial two-month testing phase with around 60 vehicles scattered over 10 stations.
The programme is expected to be scaled up to 250 vehicles on 5 December and could include 2,000 of the small four-seaters over 46 municipalities around the French capital by the end of June 2012.
The Bolloré group predicts it will need 80,000 users to make a profit and hopes to attract customers with a low fee of 12 euros a month for an annual subscription.
"This service will complement public transport and taxis. Our aim is to widen the range of available transport," Deputy Paris Mayor Annick Lepetit said at the launch.
Car-sharing systems already exist in New York and cities in the Netherlands but the Autolib' project in Paris is the only one with electric vehicles.
Their Lithium Metal Polymer batteries, developped by the Bolloré Group, can store more power than any other on the market and can take the Paris 'Bluecars' 250 kilometres on a single charge.
The small bubble-shaped Bluecars were designed by legendary Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina, whose workshops have designed generations of Ferraris and Maseratis.