The electric Bollore Bluecar is an unassuming 4 seater, 3-door hatchback that is now very commonly seen on Paris streets . Reportedly, you now can’t go 15 minutes in central Paris without seeing one of these. That’s because they are part of the Autolib’ car-sharing scheme that Parisians are increasingly using for zero-emission journeys lasting from a few minutes to a few hours.
Already there are 1750 of these cars zipping about Paris streets, or parked at 670 Autolib’ kiosks in the central city and in some suburbs. The plan is to eventually have 3000 of these Bluecars and 1,050 kiosks around the city, so Paris is well on its way to that goal.
Over 37,000 people have now joined the program, with 1,200 new enrolments each week. Apparently, 70 percent of users do not own a car, and most are aged between 25 and 39 years old.
So far, the cars have been rented more than half a million times in 10 months, and they’ve traveled a total of 5 million emission-free kilometers (3 million miles). The Bluecars are currently rented between 4,000 and 5,000 times per week, and are rented the most during weekends.
Perhaps one of the reasons the program is becoming so popular is that the electric cars do not have to be returned to the kiosk they were picked up from. Nine out of ten Bluecar rides are one way, so convenience is a big factor.
The cars feature touchscreen controls for climate, audio system, GPS, and hands-free mobile calls. Users can also call an operator from Autolib’, should they need any urgent assistance.
It’s great that electric car sharing is really starting to take off in a big city like Paris. Do you think it has the potential to take off in most cities around the world as well? Given the success of this Paris scheme, I’d have to say it’s a distinct possibility.