The chief executive of the Bollore group has disclosed plans to park 3,000 electric cars on London streets by 2016 as part of a car-sharing program that mimics the bike-sharing scheme commenced in 2010 under Mayor Boris Johnson. Vincent Bollore said that car-sharing fleets of electric cars could help reduce congestion and pollution in London.
"Pollution becomes a nightmare ... so many cities where you can't even go out and the planes can't take off and you have to solve this problem," Bollore told Reuters during launch of the scheme. While EVs seemed to be the answer for stiffer environmental regulation and growing demand for less-polluting cars, many consumers are worried about their limited range.
Bollore, whose company has interests in transport, media and electricity storage, remarked that the yet-to-be-named car-sharing scheme would be serviced by 6,000 charging points set up around London by 2018. Scheme users could rent a car for GBP10 pounds (EUR12) an hour, using a smartphone app to find a pick-up point, then leave it at unspecified locations.
Existing car-sharing schemes like Zipcar, Hertz and City Car Club only allow drivers to collect and leave vehicles – mostly conventional ones -- at the same spot. According to Bollore, drivers would be issued with a card that serves as a key and recognized them.
He remarked that 100 vehicles would be parked around London in 2015, with the remainder to follow by 2016. The Bollore group said it was investing GBP100 million into the initiative, with around EUR60 million to be spent a year on vehicle maintenance and operations. [source: Reuters]