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Paris Plans Awesome Electric Car Share

Paris, which already has that Vélib' bike-share program, is now planning an urban electric car sharing system. From Der Spiegel:\r\n\r\nParis Mayor...


Paris, which already has that Vélib' bike-share program, is now planning an urban electric car sharing system. From Der Spiegel:Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë...is planning to deploy a fleet of 2,000 electric cars that customers can pick up and drop off at rental stands around the city. Another 2,000 vehicles will be offered in two dozen surrounding cities. Advocates say the system would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 22,000 tons a year while improving traffic congestion as fewer Paris residents would need to own cars. It would be the first major city to offer such a service.... French newspaper Le Parisien pegs the price tag at $14 million (€9.9 million) to build some 1,400 self-service rental and recharging stations around Paris and adjacent suburbs.That sounds well worth it to me. The details are still vague, of course, but this approach is really smart for a few reasons. First, by sharing cars we get more use out of each one. We can seriously reduce the enormous wasted capacity of personal cars sitting idle in parking lots and driveways.But this program also addresses a traditional chicken-and-egg problem for electric cars: It's hard to sell EVs if there isn't the infrastructure for people to charge them and it's hard to justify the infrastructure if there aren't people with EVs. A program like this brings in the cars and the charging stations at once without individual consumers having to invest in the cost of a new car, effectively bootstrapping EVs into viability.
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