This week, our sister site Translogic heads off to Paris to check out the Vélib' bike-sharing and Autolib' electric-vehicle sharing programs.

Vélib' boasts 20,000 bikes and 1,800 stations throughout the city, where anyone with a credit card can check out a bike on the fly. More exciting is the EV-sharing program, which uses Pininfarina-built Bollore Blue Cars that are available to subscribers for rental at rates ranging between €9 (around $12 USD) and €16 per hour (@ $21). The program was launched in December 2011, with 250 cars and 250 stations, and though it has faced some problems, the number of cars is expected to increase to 3,000 by next year.

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      BTW, Peugeot and Citroen have just taken a massive £7,000 of the prices of their version of the iMiEV, presumably to compete with Renault's electric offerings. That is in the UK, but I am assuming that the pricing in the rest of Europe will fall to match. Vive La Republique! :-)
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      The verdict is in. It all works. Cities everywhere should take note. Combine that with the TGV, fast electrified trains for inter city, and France has perhaps the most advanced and highly integrated transport system in the world, even before you add their huge push to electric vehicles which aren't shared.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        @Jeff: There have been vandalism problems. My understanding is that they have tightened things up and are coping, but perhaps not.
        Jeff Zekas
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        See my comment above re: how most Americans treat stuff that they don't own...
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      We have a bike share program in Madison, WI with a system run by Trek. The bikes are pretty nice for rentals, costs are reasonable and there are quite a few locations. I think people are pretty happy with it - not sure if the system makes any money but it could lead to more bike sales once people see how useful a bike can be and are ready for something lighter/faster.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      cool program. shame though that they degraded the bluecar design so much from concept to production. it was a good looking little car.
      Jeff Zekas
      • 2 Years Ago
      Actually, bike share programs have had massive problems: when we were in Paris (1998) many of the bicycles had been vandalized... in fact, the contractor running the program wanted to get out of the contract, because they were losing so much money! How could it be any better with car sharing? In my experience, folks do NOT take care of stuff that they do not own-- flashbacks of how our state employees treat their vehicles (like junk) or how the Native Americans at the reservation near our house would drive cars (given to them for free by Uncle Sam) until the cars died, then leave them by the side of the road. And no one I know would want to buy a used rental car (since, many times, rental cars are abused). But, who knows? Maybe the French will treat other folks' property better than Americans?
        Jeff Zekas
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        I meant to say, "When we were in Paris in 2008"
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        I was there in 2009 and didn't see any vandalized bikes. They should look at night time security however. I had a problem with the high cost of renting a bike vs walking or the metro in Paris. Plus the traffic can be very nasty. The thing is that in Montpellier they did it right with 2 euro rental for half a day. They need to offer a foreign tourist rate outside of normal commuting times and for taking bikes to different parts of town and then bringing it back at the end of the day.