Paris to Launch Electric Car-Sharing Program Next Year


Photo via kia4067 via Flickr/CC BY

There's long been talk about a electric car-sharing program in Paris -- but it looks like it's finally going to become a reality. In a recent announcement, Mayor Bertrand Delanoë revealed that the famous city will see the beginning of Autolib. The pioneering program will make electric cars available to anyone who subscribes to the service at stations around the city, along with offering a host of other benefits. The top draw for even non-greens? Guaranteed parking. Der Spiegel reports:

Autolib is the proposed name, after the Parisian bike-sharing project that began three years ago, Vélib. A total of 3,000 electric cars will be made available, distributed among over 700 stations in the city. Autolib is due to enter a test phase in June 2011, and Delanoë wants the scheme to be fully operational from September. Paris isn't doing things by halves, says a spokesman for the city: "We want to make it a big success."
The bike sharing program has generally been a popular success -- despite problems with vandalism -- so it's no surprise that planners are tapping into the same vein for electric cars.

With Autolib, Parisians can subscribe for a monthly fee of 15 Euros ($20), and pay an additional 5 Euros per half hour the car is in use. The kicker, Spiegel notes, is that the system guarantees parking in city notorious for its severe lacking in that particular department. Parking spaces will be guaranteed at the pickup depots around the city. All things considered, it's a pretty attractive deal, and potentially much more affordable than renting space in a parking garage or relying on cabs for intercity auto transportation.

And if the car-sharing scheme goes according to plan, it is projected to rid the city of tens of thousands of cars, easing congestion and air pollution. A win-win-win, indeed. It's no wonder that other mayors and heads of state from around the world will be watching Autolib with a keen interest. Der Spiegel sums it up best:

One thing is certain: When Autolib starts up next summer, delegates from cities all over the world will be flocking to Paris to get a look at Delanoë's prestigious project. Almost any mayor would surely love the idea of ridding their cities of tens of thousands of stinking old cars.

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