Paris slams brakes on electric car-sharing scheme

Posted: June 22, 2018 by oldbrew in Emissions, Legal, News, Travel
Tags: ,

Thumbs down for Paris e_car scheme [image credit: businessinsider.com]


Another ‘green’ fantasy bites the dust in the face of old-fashioned economic realities. Once again, without massive subsidies of public money the numbers just didn’t add up. Calling a taxi seems to have won the day. Now it’s see-you-in-court time as recriminations kick off.

The city of Paris is pulling the plug on an electric car-sharing system once hailed as the future of urban transport, with officials voting to cancel the contract in the face of mounting losses, as Phys.org reports.

The more than 4,000 silver Autolib hatchbacks had become a fixture on the streets of the French capital, with docking stations for the electric vehicles found every few blocks.

But even after winning over some 150,000 subscribers, the system has failed to prove economically viable—despite promises by its operator, the Bollore Group, that once fully deployed it wouldn’t cost a cent to the city.

Last month the conglomerate, which used the scheme to showcase its electric battery technology told officials they would have to pay 46 million euros ($54 million) a year for the next five years to cover an expected deficit of 294 million euros.

Socialist Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called the request “preposterous”, and lawmakers in Paris and the suburbs participating in the scheme voted Thursday to cancel the contract immediately instead of letting it run out in 2023 as planned.

Bollore, which says it faces a 60-million-euro bill itself, has said it will now take the city to court.

Raft of options

Autolib subscribers raved about its ease of use and affordability.

Yet each car was used on average just 4.5 times a day in 2016—the most recent year for which data is available—not enough to cover the costs of maintaining the fleet.

The system also struggled to match supply with demand, since cars picked up in high-traffic areas are often parked where fewer people are looking for them.

The arrival of ride-hailing services like Uber and electric moped rentals in recent years siphoned off users as well.

Continued here.

Comments
  1. BoyfromTottenham says:

    Glad to see that even Socialists can recognise an unworkable pie in the sky ‘green’ scheme / scam when they have to subsidise it. Now if only they would wake up about the massive subsidies to useless intermittent power sources of solar and pv I might even consider them worth voting for. Err, maybe, perhaps.

  2. Bitter@twisted says:

    Too many Creme eggs?

  3. Phoenix44 says:

    How could it not cost the city anything even if it worked? There must be fewer passengers on public transport, reducing revenue, and higher wear on the roads, increasing maintenance costs, just for starters.

    Then if you shift people from the Metro to cars, you get more congestion, which costs money too.

    NSTAAFL!

  4. oldbrew says:

    more than 4,000 silver Autolib hatchbacks

    A pilot scheme with a fraction of that number would surely have shown up the same sorts of problem with far less wasted expense.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Did they back the wrong horse?

    Electric scooter-sharing moves into the fast lane
    June 22, 2018

    The scooters are “dockless,” meaning they can be rented and left at any location, unlocked with a smartphone app which also indicates the location of the vehicles, in a model similar to new-style bike-sharing startups.

    Most systems charge $1 to unlock the scooter and 15 cents per minute, so a 10-minute trip would cost $2.50.

    http://techxplore.com/news/2018-06-electric-scooter-sharing-fast-lane.html

    But don’t ask about safety 😐

  6. Dave Ward says:

    “And left at any location”

    Oh Great! Even more things cluttering the pavements, like those damn yellow bikes that inconsiderate people just leave wherever they fancy…

  7. oldbrew says:

    Not paying for virtue signallers…

    IT’S ALL OVER: INDIA TO SCRAP SUBSIDY FOR PRIVATE ELECTRIC CARS
    Date: 25/06/18

    Official sources said the government seeks to withdraw the cash incentives for private electric cars because it neither makes a “substantial difference in promoting sales nor serves the purpose of a clean environment”.
    . . .
    “The real utility of electric vehicles is in public transport. How much are the private cars driven?” asked an official.

    http://www.thegwpf.com/its-all-over-india-to-scrap-subsidy-for-private-electric-cars/

  8. dennisambler says:

    See what happened to the bike sharing scheme in China. “There are nine million bicycles in Beijing”, sang Katie Mellua and I think they are all in this photo!:

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/25/chinas-bike-share-graveyard-a-monument-to-industrys-arrogance

    “Just two days after China’s number three bike sharing company went bankrupt, a photographer in the south-eastern city of Xiamen captured a bicycle graveyard where thousands have been laid to rest. The pile clearly contains thousands of bikes from each of the top three companies, Mobike, Ofo and the now-defunct Bluegogo.

    Once hailed as “Uber for bikes”, China’s cycle hire startups allowed users to unlock GPS-enabled bikes with their smartphone, and drop them off anywhere without the need to park it at a dock.”