Electric car hire scheme unveiled in Paris

An electric car rental scheme has been unveiled in Paris for the first time. 66 electric powered Bluecars will be made available for hire from 33 rentals stations dotted throughout the French capital, although the mayor of Paris has revealed ambitious plans to expand the scheme to offer 3,000 battery powered cars from 1,000 docking stations throughout Paris by the end of 2012.

The cost of rental will vary between €4 and €8 for 30 minutes of driving and to be eligible to hire an electric car you must first become a member of the scheme at an annual cost in the region of €144 for the year, or €10 a day. Each vehicle boasts a range of 250km, with the batteries taking 4 hours to complete a full recharge.

The electric car hire scheme, known as Autolib, is being launched off the back of Velib, a popular bike hire system which has been well received in Paris and many other European cities. The intention is to encourage a culture of car sharing over car ownership in an attempt to help reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion in Paris.

Business man Vincent Bollore is supplying the 4-seater Bluecars which have been manufactured by the Italian company, Pininfarina, who are famed for sculpting supercars from world renowned brands such as Ferrari and Maserati.

The pilot scheme has been launched now and will last for two months, after which the systems will be assessed, with any issues being ironed out with the hope of adding to the fleet and increasing membership and usage.