Pininfarina and Bolloré‘s adorable B0 electric city car is finally hitting the Parisian streets thanks to the Autolib’, an all-electric, self-service car sharing program. The Bolloré-manufactured Bluecars have been zipping around the city since October 2nd. The official launch date is next December, and the program should be fully operational (with up to 3,000 cars planned), by the end of 2012. The initial 60 vehicles will be available in 46 towns around the French capital.
The Bluecars have been deployed in a novel car sharing program that allows members to reserve them for one-way trips. Unlike other car sharing programs like Zipcars, a user may return the EV to a station different from the departure station. The large, all-electric fleet is a first in that country, with ambitions for each vehicle to displace five private cars, based on the premise that Parisians don’t necessarily use their cars every day.
More details, please:
The Autolib’ service is based on Paris’s Vélib’ bike sharing system, and offers a one-way trip option. The cars have a 250 km range on one 4 hour charge, with a top speed of 130 km/h (88 mph) and 6.3 seconds from 0 to 60 km/h (a city-appropriate 37 mph). Users will initially have to check out their cars at the kiosks with their credit cards and valid drivers licenses. As the project progresses, the cars may be reserved online or via telephone, and of course, there will be an iPhone app.
Disconnection from the plug initiates the billing period. The electric charge is included in the rental cost. Users will have to park the EVs in designated parking spaces with electric plugs. While users are not forced to return the cars to their starting point, they are required to plug the cars in once they’re done. People may reserve their parking space for 90 minutes. If you miss that time frame, the computer system at the terminal will invite you to reserve a spot in one of any eight nearest parking stations. Click here for further FAQ’s answered by Autolib’.
How much did it cost them?
A green, zero-emissions fleet of such large proportions is ambitious and quite expensive! Bollore seems to be taking quite a risk, having invested around $1.5 billion euros in creating the 300 kg lithium-metal-polymer battery and $265 million in the . To ensure smooth adoption, Bolloré is paying 1,500 “Ambassadors” who will provide information and help to users at each terminal. It is also insuring each car to the tune of €2,500 euros. The Bolloré group will pay €750 a year per parking space, but will also keep all revenues from the program. The city of Paris seems to have funded the infrastructure, but the users will be footing the bill, ultimately- which makes one hope they take full advantage of the service!