France, US eye R357m EV project
EASING FUEL RELIANCE: Bollore will roll out its EV sharing programme with its Bluecar - a two-door car powered by a 30kWh lithium polymer battery. Image: Bollore
CHICAGO, Illinois- A French battery-car sharing programme has set its sights on Indianapolis, home of the Indy 500.
Bollore, which already runs a successful electric vehicle (EV) sharing programme in Paris, plans to bring 500 electric vehicles and 1200 charging stations to Indianapolis in 2014.
The R357-million project is Bollore's first such venture outside France.
It will fill a pressing need for better public transport in the mid-estern city which, unlike urban hubs such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco, does not have a car-sharing programme.
Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard said: "This program provides a great opportunity for city-centre workers, residents and visitors to get around town in a car without owning one."
Bollore, which also develops batteries and “smart” power grids, said it was drawn to Indianapolis by the mayor's commitment to electric vehicles. Chairman Vincent Bollore said: "The success of the Autolib' in Paris - based on convenience, reliability and availability - has exceeded our expectations and realised our goal of transforming car ownership habits reducing pollution and relieving traffic congestion.
"The dynamic environment fostered by Ballard's administration along with the vibrant business and higher education community, and impressive downtown development projects are key factors in our selection of Indy for this first US launch."
CHARGING MADE EASY
The charging stations will also be available to private electric vehicle owners, which will help Indianapolis to be one of the most EV-friendly cities in the US. The as-yet-unnamed programme will be based on short one-way rentals and the cars will be fitted with a GPS that allows users to reserve a parking spot with a charging station near their destination.
It will be available to individuals and to government and corporate users which want to reduce the size of their vehicle fleets.
Bollore rolled out its EV share programme in Paris with its Bluecar - a two-door electric car powered by a 30kWh lithium polymer battery coupled to a supercapacitor.
According to the manufacturer it has a range of 250km and can reach 130km/h. 399 Bluecars were registered in France in 2011, climbing to 1543 in 2012.