Autolib Electric Car Rental in Paris, France.
Views: 320 08/11/2014
Autolib’ is an electric car sharing service which was inaugurated in Paris, France, in December 2011. The scheme intends to deploy 3,000 all-electric Bolloré Bluecars for public use, initially based around 1,120 citywide parking and charging stations. A fleet of 1,750 Bluecars had been registered for the service through January 2013. As of February 2013, the scheme has more than 65,000 registered subscribers, and offers 4,000 charging points.
An available car can be collected for use from any rental station and returned to any other rental station. Each car has on-board GPS capabilities and can be tracked by the system’s operations center.
The Bolloré Bluecar
The Bolloré Bluecar is a small four-seat, three-door electric car supplied by Bolloré, designed by Pininfarina and manufactured by Cecomp in Bairo, Italy under a join venture owned by Bolloré and Pininfarina called Vehicule Électriques Pininfarina Bolloré (VEPB). The car has a 30kWh lithium polymer (LMP) battery, coupled to a supercapacitor, that provides an electric range of 250 km (160 mi) in urban use, and a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).
Originally shown as the Pininfarina B0 concept car in 2008, the production version was launched in 2011 with the first 250 production version Bluecars deployed as part of the Autolib’ carsharing program in Paris on December 5, 2011. In October 2012 the Bluecar first became available to retail customers through leasing, and sales began in February 2013 at a price of €19,000 plus a monthly fee of €80for the batteries. As of April 2013, a total of 2,151 units have been registered in the country, of which, 1,750 are allocated for the Autolib’ service. The Bolloré Bluecar was the top selling highway-capable electric car in France in 2012.
The Autolib’ system is a follow-up to Paris’ successful Velib’ bike sharing scheme, which began operations in 2007. The system’s electric cars are supplied by the Bolloré industrial group, as the result of a collaboration with the Italian automotive firm Pininfarina. There are also plans to integrate payment for the bicycle and car hire schemes with the ticketing systems for traditional modes of public transport. In May 2012, Vincent Bolloré, the head of the Bolloré group, stated that he expected Autolib’ to become profitable by 2018.
Bolloré Bluecars recharging at an Autolib’ service kiosk on Rue du Quatre Septembre, Paris, in June 2012. Construction of the Autolib’ stations began in mid-2011, and 66 of the scheme’s Bolloré Bluecars were deployed for a two-month preliminary trial period between October and December 2011. The system entered service on 5 December 2011, with 250 Bluecars and 250 Autolib’ rental stations, serving the city of Paris and its 45 surrounding communities.
By July 2012, 650 parking and charging stations had been deployed around Paris and the 46 communes participating in the scheme, and by February 2013 there were 4,000 charging points. The program’s user base grew from 6,000 subscribers at the end of December 2011 to 27,000 in July 2012, and reached 37,000 by early October 2012, of which 13,000 had an annual subscription. By February 2013 the scheme had 65,000 subscribers. During 2012, sales of electric cars in France were led by the Bolloré Bluecar deployed for Autolib’ with 1,543 units registered, representing 28% of total all-electric cars registered in the country that year. A total of 1,750 Bolloré Bluecars have been registered for Autolib’ through January 2013. The company’s goal is to deploy 3,000 electric cars by 2013. By late September 2012, Autolib’s fleet reached the milestone of 500,000 rentals since its launch, and the scheme’s vehicles had been driven a cumulative total of 15,000,000 km (9,300,000 mi) by February 2013.
In early 2013, the Bolloré Group announced plans to launch a similar carsharing service in Lyon and Bordeaux, but under a different brand name and with no cost to the cities. Bolloré’s proposal is to fund the entire infrastructure, install and provide the vehicles, and cover the costs of maintenance and repairs. A formal agreement has not been signed as of March 2013. Bolloré’s goal is to start service in Bordeaux by September 2013 with 90 vehicles, 40 parking stations and 180 charging stations. After these two schemes are implemented, the company plans to launch similar systems abroad, beginning with a city in Asia.