This past Sunday Paris took a monumental step towards the future of green transportation as it kicked off the world’s first large-scale electric car share program. Launched by Vincent Bollore, the Autolib electric car-share is modeled off the city’s popular bike share system, and it will be the largest program of its kind in the world. By December the program will include 250 electric vehicles, and it’s planned to expand in 2012 if the first leg of the project is successful.
Like Zip Car, the cars will be parked around designated spots on the streets of Paris. The program started its two-month testing phase yesterday with an initial 60 vehicles that spanned 10 stations, where the cars can be recharged. The cars offered thus far are Italian=designed Bluecars — small 4 seaters that are similar to Smartcars. The Bollore Group, which is running the program, also designed the custom Lithium Metal Polymer batteries that power the cars. The high-efficiency batteries can take Parisian Autolib members a full 155 miles on a single charge!
The Autolib program is meant to enhance Paris’ already plentiful public transportation, giving Parisians more green transportation options and reducing the need for car ownership. Should the program excel beyond the testing phase, Autolib plans to put 2,000 cars in stations across the 46 municipalities around Paris by June of next year.
In order to make the program successful beyond the testing phase, it must attract 80,000 users. They hope their low monthly fee of 12 euros, coupled with the allure of green transportation will attain their needed membership.
Lead photo by farberNovel