Paris to Launch Electric Car-sharing Service

Parisians can thank their progressive, socialist mayor for a plan to make the city a friendly place for green-minded commuters. As The Guardian reports, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë yesterday said that by the end of 2009, some 4,000 electric cars will be scattered throughout the city in a Zip Car-esque sharing model. The program, called Autolib, is similar to the city’s popular bicycle-sharing program, Vélib’.

The cars would be available for pickup and delivery at 700 spots around the city and users can specify where they will return them via an online system that guarantees an available parking spot, Delanoë told French radio. Customers would pay a subscription fee of up to €250 (or about $388) a month. That’s seems a little steep, but keep in mind gas prices in France are well over $8 a gallon and climbing.

The program has yet to select an electric car model, nor was there any mention of any other partnerships, but the city will likely be working with an electric vehicle maker and an infrastructure specialist to install charging stations. Will Shai Agassi’s Project Better Place be involved? The subscription model sounds similar.

And for our Francophone E2T readers, below is a video of Denis Baupin, deputy mayor of Paris, talking about the project.