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Paris Launches World's First Electric Car Share Program 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the surrendering-to-efficiency dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday Paris took a big step towards clean transportation as it launched the world's first electric car share program. Created by Vincent Bollore, the Autolib electric car-share is modeled off the city's popular bike share system, and it will be the largest program of its kind in the world. By December the program will include 250 electric vehicles, and it's planned to expand in 2012 if the first leg of the project is successful."
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Paris Launches World's First Electric Car Share Program

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  • Amsterdam did that (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @02:15AM (#37596374)

    Amsterdam 1974:

    The sharecar named "Witkar" small electric car , A'dam been there done that and got the T shirt..back in 1974

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witkar

    • by rvw (755107)

      Amsterdam 1974:

      The sharecar named "Witkar" small electric car , A'dam been there done that and got the T shirt..back in 1974

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witkar

      Amsterdam did that, and the "witte fietsen" (white bikes) as well, and both failed. Last summer I was in Paris, and the Velib (the bike rental system) worked really well. You rent a bike for less than 2 euros a day (less if you take a subscription). If you take a bike, you can use it for half an hour for free, then you pay one euro, and the rate per half hour goes up to 4 euros. That seems absurd, but the goal is that people put the bikes back in half an hour, as that is probably enough for 90% of the rides

      • by Malc (1751)

        London uses the same charging scheme (access fee + rising rental rate starting with a free first 30 mins). It encourages churn and availability, and if you want a bike for longer, then there are real rental companies.

        The lack of helmets is daft, and TfL encourages people to where one. The system wouldn't work in a casual or convenient way if helmets were required, which rather defeats the purpose of the scheme. I wear one when I'm on my own bike. I guess the rental bikes (from Montreal no less) are not

        • by jeremyp (130771)

          The lack of helmets is daft, and TfL encourages people to where one. The system wouldn't work in a casual or convenient way if helmets were required, which rather defeats the purpose of the scheme.

          So the lack of helmets is not daft.

          I guess the rental bikes (from Montreal no less) are not designed to go very quickly anyway.

          I think collision between your head and a concrete kerb stone can be pretty bad no matter what velocity in the horizontal direction you had prior to falling off your bike.

          Take your own life in to your own hands... funny though that the US would be more of a nanny state in this regard.

          I think "taking your life into your hands" is overdramatising it a bit. It wasn't that long ago that nobody in Britain wore helmets to cycle in. I don't recall there being carnage of cyclists dying of head injuries. It did happen occasionally, of course, which is why it is a good idea to wear a helmet,

        • by Alioth (221270)

          Why is the lack of helmets daft? There is little evidence that helmet wearing has a meaningful reduction of the injury rate to on-road cyclists. The compulsion of helmets would be a lot more daft.

          • There is little evidence that helmet wearing has a meaningful reduction of the injury rate to on-road cyclists.

            I'm willing to bet that wearing a helmet actually increases the number of cyclists treated for head injuries.

            • Looking forward to a link to a decent scientific reference on this...

              • Same way wearing a seat belt increases your likelihood of being treated for injuries...



                ...as opposed to simply being killed.
                • Nope... your opinion doesn't count as a decent scientific reference, if you could link to something that would be great, thanks.

                  Funny you mention seatbelts, as this is a pretty bad comparison. Three months ago me/my girlfriend/another friend were the first people to arrive at a four-car pile up on a long straight country road, turns out the guy who overtook us at speed a couple of minutes before then tried to overtake a van and went straight into a car coming the other way, and another car behind this crash

                  • Nope... your opinion doesn't count as a decent scientific reference, if you could link to something that would be great, thanks.

                    I detect just a small amount of sarcasm [jt.org] there, which means you must be at least familiar with the stuff. I'd like you to turn that sarcasm detector [psychcentral.com] up a notch or two, reread the posts, and then see what you think. Here, I'll help (without sarcasm, I promise):

                    We're actually in agreement. My original post references the sample bias that can lead to counterintuitive statistical trends when you look at the introduction of protective gear. There are plenty of examples of this: helmets and head injuries in

                  • by HuguesT (84078)

                    Please read all the way to his last sentence.

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              Of course it does. Because without the helmets, those people would mostly be dead.

              ERs saw a similar phenomenon 20 years ago when airbags starting becoming common on cars. They had more trauma patients from auto accidents than before. It was because, with non-airbag cars, those people usually died, so they never went to the ER, they went straight to the morgue.

              I'm guessing you anti-helmet people would prefer to go straight to the morgue.

          • Let's take two people, and hit them both on the head with a block of concrete at 12mph. One is wearing a cycle helmet, and one is not. Which person do you think will take more damage?

            I'd welcome links to documents on comparative head damage to cyclists wearing and not wearing helments, but if I am going to fall off a bike and hit my head on the road while travelling at a reasonable cycling pace (12 mph) I think I'll go for hitting that road with my helmet rather than my head directly. I'll take a less-than-

      • Wait, I was with you until... you think helmets are stupid?
        Look, everyone! Darwinism at work! The brain that doesn't protect itself...

        • This is actually quite a healthy debate in the cycling community that ranges from nut-jobs who think wearing a helmet will make you "take more risks" and get hurt worse, to nanny-staters who think that no-one should ever be allowed on a bike without a helmet.

          The healthy middle ground says that making helmets mandatory will cause less people to ride bikes ("fuck it, I'll just take the car"), so to get people on bikes you need to let them do it without wearing a helmet.

          • Hey, I'm not trying to tell anyone what they must or must not do. I'm just amazed that people will take on a reasonably high risk of being involved in a collision with a car while wearing no protection whatsoever, even for the single most important organ in their body.

            I think smoking is stupid too, but I don't advocate criminalizing it.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        You remind me of the guy here in the US a few months ago who was protesting his state's law requiring helmets for motorcycles; while he was driving around in his protest, he fell, hit his head, and died.

        Any time your head hits concrete, you're likely to have either a brain injury or die. No, it's somewhat rare for bicyclists to have a fall resulting in hitting their head, but when it does, it means disaster. Similarly, it's somewhat rare for car drivers to have an accident, but when it does, if they're no

        • by rvw (755107)

          Yep - I may regret my comment one day, I know. The fact is that I drive a bike for about 35 years now, without ever wearing a helmet, and nobody around here does. We're used to biking, and to bikes being on the road in between cars and trucks. It's in our blood. I bike more than I walk, and not for fun, just for practical reasons, and I'm not the only one.

          I wonder what will be next. When will there be a law in the US requiring you to wear a helmet when walking outside?

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            We used to be like that here in the US too: no one wanted to wear seat belts, because it wasn't "cool" and because we never wore them before and were still alive, so why should we wear them now? Then we realized that if we didn't start wearing them, we'd be like our many friends and family members who had been in auto accidents and were either maimed or killed, and we could avoid that by wearing our seat belts. The per-capita injury and death numbers are much better now than they were in decades past; acc

      • by gregben (844056)

        And no stupid helmets like in the US.

        Try sitting around in an ER for a week; you'll change your mind about helmets before the week is out!

      • by hb253 (764272)
        I can't speak for every jurisdiction in the US, but the ones I know of only require helmets for cyclists ages 14 and under.
  • by Frans Faase (648933) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @02:16AM (#37596378) Homepage
    The first was the Witkar [wikipedia.org] in Amsterdam more than 35 years ago.
    • And Paris is not even the first in France: at least La Rochelle has this kind of service since 1999, called Liselec at the time, now renamed Yélomobile: http://www.yelomobile.fr/ [yelomobile.fr]
    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      The first was the Witkar [wikipedia.org] in Amsterdam more than 35 years ago.

      Didn't you read TFS? It said "world's first electric car share program" !!! It also says the "largest", but since it's the first, I think it's a given.

      So stop spreading FUD and surrender to your great robotic slashdot overlord.

      Have a nice day.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The first was the Witkar [wikipedia.org] in Amsterdam more than 35 years ago.

        Didn't you read TFS? It said "world's first electric car share program"

        Click on the link, read the Dutch version, and even if you don't understand Dutch, "24 volt elektromotor van 2000 watt" implies that the car wasn't fueled by petrol, diesel, uranium, or banana peels.

        Even the English version says "These were specially designed electric vehicles", and goes on about recharging problems

        Twit.

    • And looking at a more recent example I've been seeing Zen Cars [sustainable-mobility.org] around Brussels recently too.

      This is definitely not a "World's First"...

      -- Pete.

      • by dolmen.fr (583400)

        Brussels: 29 cars.

        Paris: 250 cars to start, adding each month, up to 3000 in june 2012.

        Can you really compare?

        • They're both electric car sharing efforts, and just because the one is Paris is bigger, that doesn't make it "first".

          Or are you one of those people who also think that the iPod was the "first" portable mp3 player?

          -- Pete.

          • by tompaulco (629533)
            The French like to redefine things so that they are the first. Like for instance saying that the wright brothers were not the first airplane because an airplane is defined not just a craft that can fly under it's own power, but also has to perform at least one 90 degree turn.
            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              No, they're right (I'm American BTW). The Wright Brothers did NOT invent the airplane by any means; there were lots of previous attempts that were quite successful in flying. Many of these were also French. The problem was, they would take off, fly partway across a field, and then crash.

              The Wright Brothers' plane was different: it would take off, fly partway across a field, and then turn, fly around some more, and then land. The previous plane inventors hadn't figured out how to do that turning part yet

  • I wash my M3 every week!

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      And you have to! With that matte finish paint job (a £1750 extra) you can't let it get dirty, or take it in a car wash, or let any bird crap get on there for more than a few minutes or you'll ruin it completely!

      BMW are *forcing* you towards clean transportation!

  • Could make sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by l2718 (514756) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @02:48AM (#37596478)
    For short in-city trips electric vehicles are fairly efficient (especially with regenerative breaking). Moreover, these vehicles will have established parking spots where they can be efficiently charged. I can see this being a cost-effective alternative to taxis, and possibly to public transport (especially for several people at once). The question is what to do about them if they are driven until the battery is drained, which is not an issue for bicycles. If that becomes prevalent it will increase costs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stephanruby (542433)

      The question is what to do about them if they are driven until the battery is drained, which is not an issue for bicycles. If that becomes prevalent it will increase costs.

      Yep, it's like people driving a rented car until the fuel tank is completely empty, or like people returning a rented car with less fuel than the rental place asked them to return with. It does increase the cost, but it increases that cost only to the person who doesn't bother.

    • With reserved spots, the infrastructure for charging becomes simpler for this sort of thing. My sister lives in Chicago, she doesnt own a car and bikes most places, but for things like bulk grocery buying and other shopping, that sorta thing, she has a zip car membership. If the charging stations are prevalent enough, i could see zipcar going electric. And after a minute of research it seems theyre already testing it in san francisco with plug in hybrids.

    • by dolmen.fr (583400)

      The question is what to do about them if they are driven until the battery is drained, which is not an issue for bicycles. If that becomes prevalent it will increase costs.

      The payment system is an incentive to put back the car for use for someone else: if the driver want to reduce his costs, he has to use the car only for short rides and park the car in a station instead of keeping it for himself and continuing to pay.
      And as the car station is the recharging station, the more often the car goes to a station the more time it spends recharging.

  • This car share program seems to have been designed just to line the pocket of Bollore big friend of Sarkozy...

    Problem... it absolutely ignore the needs of other electric cars drivers...

    Renault have a full lineup from micro city cars to full size sedan and utility pro vehicles...

    Something done to help those user in the city...

    NOPE...

  • by makubesu (1910402) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @03:03AM (#37596524)
    also, largest of its kind! One with the most features! Most customers! Most attractive customers! Shiniest cars! Only one that doesn't poison all of its clients! Least deadly of all of them! Most vacuously true of all of them!
    The first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club!
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Hint from a former Parisian : When Paris claims to be the first to do something, it means they copied from another town but put it to a larger scale. So they claim to be the first (of this scale) to pretend to be the ones who came up with the idea.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        I heard that Paris was the first city!

      • Whether it is original or not, as long as it works it won't matter. Hopefully in a few years time a more attractive headline would be 'world's first SUCCESSFUL electric car share programme".

        I'm no tree hugger but particulate-free air is rather nice in major cities. Or less pollution at any rate...

      • by horza (87255)

        We've had this in Nice for a long time already.

        Phillip.

  • This is definitely not the first electric car sharing program, see the comment about Witkar. But it also isn't the first commercially successful or anything. The German railway association (Deutsche Bahn) has their Flinkster program, which includes electric and "normal" cars, depending on what you need. In my opinion a perfect fit for the current generation.

  • Well, in Brussels, Zen Car has had stations for a couple of months now.
  • the article mentions this program is unique as it only uses electrical cars.

    The autolib website has a lists of cars you can rent. It contains many cars, none of which are electrical.

    The article mentions this is 12 euro a month. The website mentions 12 euro a month, plus an hourly price and a price per kilometer.

    (and the thing about them not being the first, but i think this may have been mentioned in other posts :))

    • Yeah, that link is the Lyon Autolib. The Paris Autolib is all electric, using a single model called the Bluecar. It's 12 EURO per month + a half hourly change.

      5 EUROs the first half hour.
      4 EUROs the second half hour.
      6 EUROs the third half hour.

      There's no distance or fuel charge.

  • The very same program has already been launched in several smaller cities of France for months. In the south-east part of the country, Nice, Antibes and Cannes had autolib cars since early April.
  • It would be nice if the title could be fixed. Maybe something like "Paris gets the first electric car share program national media actually talks about" ?

    Nice (on the riviera) has had such a system since march 2010, and it has been quite well received. You can read more here: http://www.nice.fr/Zoom-sur/Auto-partage [www.nice.fr] (google translate, people).

    It is a very common issue in france that something is actually talked about only when it happens in Paris. We had the same with shared bikes, that were implemented
    • by horza (87255)

      Nice has already an electric tramway, all the buses have been running on natural gas for over a decade, it has a communal bike rental system, and for the past few months you can just pick up an electric car and use it for something like €5 per hour. Last month they celebrated over 1,000 regular subscribers to the car scheme.

      Phillip.

  • A lot of people are commenting that this is not "the first". Who cares?

    It is not the first but, for one, it will be the first that will be heard of by people living far from it. Folks get over this: there are more international reporters in Paris than in all of the other quoted cities I've seen so far combined.

    More importantly, given the monthly price, it seems to be a lot more geared to the occasional short trip. We (me+wife) used a car pool system in The Netherlands for a couple of years. The trick with i

    • by data2 (1382587)

      Well, there are a multitude of car sharing companies in every major German city. So I think this is much more a case of reporters believing the marketing than anything else.
      The one I use has a monthly fee of 5 Euros, the other one I use has no monthly fee.

      • Are the stations of these dense enough, that you can just go somewhere else and drop the car? Instead of having to (more or less) be forced into a round-trip?

        One thing I hope this system will provide is a high density of stations to allow that. IIRC the system we used in the NL actually required us to return the car to the same spot. But then, it also allowed us to reserve a car at a given location and given time.

  • Check the chinese sim-city view, it's amazing to browse : - map.baidu.com - zoom in, then click on the top right corner on the second button ("3d view", with the number three as the first character, three horizontal strokes)
  • bzzzut alors!

  • ... was the tagline of an old french TV ad.

    Because that's the case : every country wants to get rid of nuclear energy, but in the same time push for electric devices, cars, and so on ....

    Anybody actually sees the paradox ?
  • Since 1999, La Rochelle (France) has setup an electric car rental service called Yelomobile (former Liselec). So Paris is not really "innovating" with this idea...

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr

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