French carmakers rush to replace Paris Autolib
After cancelling their contract with the electric car sharing Autolib, Paris already found a substitute. Two in fact as both Renault and PSA rush to populate the French capital with exclusively electric vehicles to hire.
The pioneering electric car sharing fleet of Bolloré had run into trouble in Paris and so the city terminated the contract last month, 5 years early. Local councillors refused a request by Bollore to contribute 233 million euros toward its budget shortfall (we reported).
In come Renault that say they will launch a fleet of electric cars this September that is to include 2,000 EVs by the end of 2019. Renault will base their wide-ranging offer on their existing Zoe, Twizy, Kangoo Z.E, Master Z.E. and will offer both free floating as well as station-based services, the latter for longer hires.
In the medium term, they also want to set up a working group and they stress the close cooperation with the city. Indeed, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and President of the C40 initiative has called the agreement “constructive” and an “opportunity to promote major technological and industrial advances”.
Moreover, France’s other carmaker PSA stands ready to deploy 500 electric Peugeot and Citroen in Paris from the last quarter of this year. They build on their experience with their existing car sharing offers under the Free2Move brand that also includes emov in Madrid and Lisbon and can be found in Berlin with C-Zero cars as well.
While the Mayor of Paris has not (yet) endorsed PSA as directly as Renault, PSA’s Brigitte Courtehoux, Director of Mobility and Connectivity Services claims the move was “possible thanks to the good collaboration we have established with the Paris City Hall.”
In any case, it appears Parisians will be spoilt for choice when it comes to hiring an electric car short term.