Billionaire tycoon Vincent Bollore has committed to invest over 100 million euros ($131 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) into Autolib, Paris' electric carsharing program. The city's car-for-hire scheme is modeled after the successful, but often times problematic, Vélib bike-sharing program. Autolib is scheduled to kick off next fall and will allow area residents a chance to rent electric cars from one of the 700-plus soon-to-be installed stations.

Aside from investing a significant amount of coin into the program, Bollore will also supply Autolib with its electric Bluecar. All of Bollore's $131-million initial investment will not go directly into the Autolib program. In speaking at a recent news conference, Bollore stated that his company's investment will work out like this:
For us, Autolib is at least 100 million euros (of investment). We wrote 60 million (in the presentation), but 60 is the minimum, plus investments we make elsewhere.
Bollore doesn't expect to see a return on investment for at least seven years, but he remains confident that the Autolib project will be a success. If 100 million euros isn't confidence, we don't know what is.

[Source: Reuters | Image: Benh LIEU SONG – C.C. License 2.0]

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