Paris launches world's first electric car sharing program
Part I: Car Sharing 2.0 Series
One could argue that 2011 will go down as a watershed year for car sharing. Zipcar, the leading North American car sharing company, launched a successful IPO on Wall Street earlier this year.
Peer to peer car sharing, where individuals rent their personal cars through a central web site has taken off in the Boston and San Francisco areas. And Daimler's Car2Go, where a web of cars are available at unassigned locations for one-way rentals, is gaining steam in Austin, Vancouver B.C and Hamburg.
Now Paris, France home of the the world's most successful bike sharing system, has launched an electric car-sharing system, Autolib.
The program has 66 ultra-small (even by European standards) e-cars but plans to grow the system to 3000 (with 1000 charging stations) by 2012. The program is run by a private company who has invested $265 million into the venture.
Read more in the Car Sharing 2.0 series:
Part II: A brief history of car sharing
Part III: The benefits of car sharing
Part IV: Car2go provides one way car sharing in Austin, San Diego
Part V: Nationwide (and over the pond), Zipcar continues to innovate