>>Paris wants an electric car rental fleet
July 31, 2008, 6:54 pm
Filed under: Transport

Bertrand Delanoë, mayor of Paris, wants to buy 4,000 electric cars and turn them loose for casual rental in and around the city.

According to The New York Times, the fleet could be operational within 18 months. To use a car, you’d simply scan your credit card at a charging station located on one of 700 lots around town, climb in, buckle up and drive away. When you’re done, you’d park the car at any vacant charging station. Your account would be billed for the time you had the car.

The program is based on a wildly successful rent-a-bike system operating across the city for the past year.

Because Renault-Nissan is already gearing up to produce electric cars for use under the Project Better Place program in Israel, Denmark, Portugal and California, city planners are confident they’ll be able to get a fleet in place — if not from Nissan, then from some competing car company.

Parisian environmentalists are split on the merits of the electric car fleet. On one hand, it may mean people will dump their gas-powered small cars and taxis. On the other hand, it may contribute to traffic congestion as folks who can’t now afford to own a car rush to get drivers’ licenses.


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