Paris gears up to share electric cars


PARIS – Paris is gearing up for an electric car-sharing scheme to fight air pollution across the city.

Officials yesterday chose a bid by French billionaire entrepreneur Vincent Bolloré to run Autolib’, a new car-sharing programme modelled on Paris’s successful three-year-old bicycle-sharing programme, Vélib’.

Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë said the 3,000-car service, which is to begin in the city and nearby suburbs by the end of 2011, will make Paris the first major world city with a car-sharing programme of its size.

Groupe Bolloré beat two rival bidders after a year-long selection process: a consortium of rental car giant Avis, Paris public transport authority RATP, national rail operator SNCF and Vinci Park, an operator of parking garages; and Veolia Transport Urbain – an international operator of public transport systems.

The four-seater “Bluecars” – so called for their colour – developed by Bolloré are to be positioned at 1,200 stations in metropolitan Paris and will be available around the clock.

Tourists will be able to use the service as long as they have a driver’s licence recognised in France.

An annual subscription will cost €12 euro per month, but daily and weekly options will also be available.

A €250 security deposit will also be required. – (AP)