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2011-12-08 08:24

BUBBLE AND CAR: A Blucar, one of 250 battery cars for public rental, charges next to one of the glassed bubbles that will offer shelter to users and identify the stations. Image: AFP

The introduction of a pay-as-you-go battery-car fleet in Paris might be good for the atmosphere but it's threatening for the public - as one French lady found out at the launch.

The 250-strong fleet of pay-go-drop electric cars was launched this week in the French capital but, according to the London Daily Mail, "the French capital's new car-sharing programme was dealt a rather embarrassing blow when one of its silent electric cars knocked over a pedestrian - because she didn't hear it coming".

Whoopsie!, one might say...


Police say the woman was struck as she crossed the Rue Taine in the city's 12th Arrondissement only hours after the Autolib' fleet hit the roads. She is believed to have ignored the pedestrian crossing lights and she and one of the Autolib cars collided. The woman was taken to hospital complaining of pain in a hip and shoulder and with a bruised face.

The Mail reported that the Mayor of paris, Bertrand Delanoe, who launched the Autolib programme, said it was "an unfortunate accident - there was no evidence to suggest a connection between the crash and the fact the car was silent".

3000 CARS BY 2014

Autolib' was built on the success of Paris's 's bike rental scheme - much like the 'Boris Bikes' in London - in an attempt to reduce noise and air pollution. The city has claimed Autolib it as the biggest programme of its kind - 250 vehicles went out on the streets this week, the total is expected to reach 2000 by mid-2012 and 3000 by 2-014.

Each user of the four-seat Bluecar will need a valid ID and driving licence and can sign-up online for the service or talk to a service representative at one of 40 special glassed-in shelters in Paris.

Standard subscriptions will cost the equivalent of R100 a day, R150 a week or R1440 a year with a per-km charge for use.


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