French electric car share program sets sights on Indy
A French electric car share program has set its sights on the home of one of the top US race car events: Indianapolis.
Bolloré, which already runs a successful car share program in Paris, plans to bring 500 electric vehicles and 1,200 charging stations to the home of the Indy 500 early next year.
The $35 million project is Bolloré's first car share venture outside of France.
It will fill a pressing need for better public transportation in the sprawling midwestern city which -- unlike urban hubs like New York, Chicago and San Francisco -- does not have a car sharing program.
"This program provides a great opportunity for downtown workers, residents and visitors to get around town in a car without owning one," Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard said in a statement.
Bolloré, which also develops electric batteries and 'smart' electrical grids, said it was drawn to Indianapolis by the mayor's commitment to electric vehicles.
"The success of the Autolib' in Paris - based on convenience, reliability and availability - has exceeded our expectations and realized our goal of transforming habits of car ownership, reducing pollution and relieving traffic congestions," chairman Vincent Bolloré said.
"The dynamic environment fostered by Mayor 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."
The charging stations will also be available to private electric vehicle owners, which will help Indianapolis to be one of the most electrified cities in the United States.
The as-yet-unnamed program will be based on short one-way rentals and the cars will be outfitted with a GPS that allows users to reserve a parking spot with a charging station near their destination.
It will be available to both individuals and to government and corporate users wishing to reduce the size of their vehicle fleets.
© 2013 AFP