On the road
As of December 2010, the total French fleet comprised 39,000,000 vehicles of which there were approximately 44,000 HEVs or EVs. The French auto industry began offering all-electric vehicles for sale in 2011. Changes in vehicle use make electric cars ideal for the majority of trips, with 87% of Europeans currently driving less than 60 km a day.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance is developing a complete range of 100% electric powertrains,with power ratings of between 15kW (20hp) and 100kW (140hp). Additionally, the battery production plant in Flins which Renault, the CEA, and Nissan-NEC are launching is expected to support Renault’s EV Zoe in 2012.
Along with Renault, Tesla, Peugot, and other manufacturers are offering EVs to the French public in 2011.
Image courtesy of Autolib' .
Autolib' began their Paris operations in December 2011. Parisians who are members use small electric cars --- for a small charge and for short trips --- in a car-sharing plan. The four-seater cars, called “Bluecar”, are entirely electric. They have a top speed of 130km/h (80mph) and can travel 250 km on a single charge.
Year-long subscriptions to Autolib' will cost 144 euros, while daily and weekly subscriptions will also be available for 10 and 15 euros respectively. An additional fee of around five euros will be charged for every half-hour of driving.
The Bolloré Group, the family-owned industrial holdings company behind Autolib', plans to have 3,000 Bluecars circulating on the streets of Paris and its inner-ring suburbs by next summer.
The City of Paris has contributed 35 million euros to the plan by building rental stations. Suburban local authorities have also contributed 50,000 euros for each station.
Up to 1,200 multilingual “ambassadors” will answer customers’ calls via video screens at parking stations as well as in the cars themselves.
The Autolib' vehicles will be constantly tracked and monitored from the operational center, which will be staffed 24 hours a day.