Paris revs up for electric car rentals

7 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Paris revs up for electric car rentals отключены
Electric Car Pariss Electric Roadster

Four years after transforming the French capital’s two-wheeled transport habits with an easy-to-rent bicycle system, officials launched a similar project in Paris Monday for the electric car.

Regional and business officials unveiled Autolib, an electric car rental service they hope will yield big benefits for the city’s often-clogged and polluted streets.

Now we can imagine the city without the stink and noise of exhaust pipes, said French magnate Vincent Bollore, whose company is supplying the project’s electric cars.

You can walk behind an Autolib car with a push-chair and not worry about fumes.

The launch follows a successful October trial of 250 Bluecar electric vehicles.

Under the system, users rent a car at one location and can drop it off at another. New cars will be added each month, with officials eventually hoping to have 3,000 cars and 1,200 stations in place, many of them alongside metro and railway stations.

The city’s socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoe described the car as a revolution that will improve the quality of life across the French capital, despite the risks of public scepticism and sarcasm.

A little more than four years ago we introduced the Velib, it was an innovation as well as a risk which was met with scepticism and sarcasm, the mayor said.

The project, costing about four million euros ($5.8 million) is being co-financed with the regional Ile-de-France council.

Paris, in common with other cities such as New York, already has a popular non-electric car share scheme.

But officials say that France is the first to deploy an all-electric fleet using a new generation of lithium-metal-polymer batteries that can hold a charge lasting up to five times longer than other cells.

Bollore says a full charge will provide a range of up to 250 kilometres in town. The little Bluecars can comfortably seat four adults, manufacturers say. It will mean fewer parked cars, less traffic and less pollution, Delanoe said.

Electric Car Pariss Electric Roadster

Residents and tourists were quick to embrace Paris’s bicycle-rental system, known as Velib, launched in 2007. Impressed with the project, London adopted a similar initiative.

Paris and its suburbs are now dotted with around 1,800 docking stations holding more than 20,000 of the grey utilitarian bikes.

But the bicycles have been prone to vandalism and theft, with battered bikes showing up as far away as Morocco or used as teenage stunt bikes in YouTube videos.

When asked about the potential of vandalism to the new electric cars, Delanoe acknowledged it was a risk but said the cars were made of the highly resistant materials.

Contracts are 144 euros per year, plus four or five euros for each half hour of use. Users can also get weekly or daily memberships.

The project has met with resistance from a number of Paris district councils, citing cost and doubts about the public appetite for the scheme, as well as by car rental companies.

Some environmentalists have criticised the project for promoting car culture and for the extra draw on France’s nuclear power stations the electric vehicles will create.

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