Six months after the launch of this genuine world first in Paris, Autolib’ self-service electric cars are now well established in the capital. Electric car hire for very short periods: a new form of urban transport, but that’s not all…
The Autolib’ philosophy
Autolib’ is first and foremost a civic concept, which offers everyone the chance to contribute to meeting the urban challenge of making our cities cleaner and pleasanter places in which to live. At the same time, it is about democratising access to cars, by shifting from a rationale based on ownership to one based on use. Whether we are Parisians or tourists, we all hold the keys to the success of the project.
The Autolib’ service is a mode of transport consisting entirely of “one-way” electric vehicles, which means that users can leave the car at the drop-off point of their choice without having to return to where they started from. What’s more, the environmental performance of these so-called Bluecars will contribute to keeping Paris and its region breathing. Autolib’ means zero noise, zero fumes, and zero CO2 emissions!
The Bluecar is the result of a close collaboration with the famous Turin car maker Pininfarina, which is synonymous with excellence in car design. It represents a skilful combination of elegance and the latest technologies.
Towards a new form of urban transport: green, practical, and economical
Since the scheme’s launch in December 2011, 250 cars have been available from around 250 pick-up stations, 180 of them in inner Paris. New Bluecars are being brought on stream each month, and are set to reach 2,000 in June 2012, then 3000 by the end of the same year, with 1,200 pickup stations in Paris and the 46 communes of Île-de-France. The 3,000 Bluecars for hire should make it possible to reduce the number of privately owned cars in the Île-de-France region by 22,500, the equivalent of 164 million kilometres travelled by polluting vehicles each year.
The scheme also faces an immense logistical challenge. A team of nearly 250 operators manages the system remotely from the Autolib’ centre. They are supported by 1,000 “ambassadors” responsible for meeting the customer at the kiosks where subscriptions are sold and for ensuring that the service operates smoothly on the ground. A symbol of the changes in urban transport, the service provides customer assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To register, all you need do is take your driving licence and current ID card or passport, to one of the Autolib’ kiosks, or visit the official website www.autolib.eu. Once you have your registration badge you can hire a Bluecar from one of the pick-up stations and enjoy uninterrupted customer service, even when driving. Each car is fitted with a GPS, so you can choose any route you like. Once you have used the vehicle, you just leave it at the nearest Autolib’ station to your destination and put the vehicle back on recharge. As proof of a genuine desire for innovation, you can also book your Bluecar or its pick-up point in advance.
The diverse range of services allows both business and private users, to find a solution to suit their budget. From the single Découverte to the Premium subscription, through the business, weekly, monthly or 16-hour Premium package, the range of subscriptions means everyone can choose the one that best meets their needs.
As citizens of the world, we all want our cities to be pleasanter places to live in. But apart from this important eco-civic approach, Autolib’ also offers us a practical, economical and innovative service that is easy to use.