Innovative electric car on many levelsBolloré's electric Bluecar has beaten its own path so far, and that looks set to continue. Not only did it launch in France via the Paris Autolib car-sharing program (similar to what Velib does for bikes) and uses lithium-metal-polymer batteries coupled to a super-capacitor (something that no other commercially available EV currently does), but it will now go on sale to individuals without a battery pack. The EV itself will be sold for 12,000 Euros ($15.6k) after incentives, and owners will then have to rent the battery pack for a monthly fee of 80 euros.
What if other electric cars were sold the same way?I think it's a very interesting approach. What if a Nissan LEAF had a price tag of, say, $14,000 and then you had to rent the battery pack for $100/month? Or a Tesla Model S for $35,000 and then you paid $250/month for the battery? Not only would that make EVs a lot more accessible because the upfront cost would be lower, but it would also reduce anxiety surrounding the durability of batteries.
I'm not saying it should be the only option - some people will always prefer owning everything - but it could be one of many ways of financing an electric car.
Bolloré's Bluecars that are part of Autolib have logged 15 million kilometers so far, according to the company, so this way of doing things also gave them a lot of real-world information before they start selling the EV. It's another great idea that other electric car makers could probably imitate by partnering more closely with companies like Zipcar.
The Bluecar has a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) and a top speed of 130 kph (80 mph). It is sold as a urban car, not an autobahn racer.