France, however, feels differently than Mr. O’Keefe:
Paris introduces self-service electric car scheme
A fleet of blue, eco-friendly electric cars will hit the streets of the French capital next autumn and cost no more than a tube fare to zip around town.
Bertrand Delanoë, the city’s Socialist mayor hopes Autolib will be as popular as Vélib, the hit bike rental scheme he introduced in 2007 and which has been adopted by cities around the world including London.
Yesterday he confirmed the town hall had selected a four-seat vehicle made by the French company Bolloré, whose industrialist owner, Vincent Bolloré, famously lent his mega-yacht to President Nicolas Sarkozy after his election.
Autolib will see 3,000 small, battery-powered bubble vehicles placed at 1,000 self-service ranks across Paris and its suburbs.
The scheme will cost 12 euros per month for annual subscribers, who will then be required to pay five euros for the first half-hour of use, four euros for the next and six for every extra 30 mins at the wheel. The idea, as with Vélib, is to encourage short trips. One-off weekly subscriptions will cost 15 euros and daily passes 10 euros.
The Bluecar, designed by Bolloré’s Italian partners Pininfarina, has a maximum speed of 130kph (around 80mph), a range of around 250km (155 miles) and its lithium metal polymer battery will take four hours on average to charge. Drivers will be able to book via internet, phone or at stations, and can book arrival parking spots in advance.
The rest here.