Paris pulls the plug on Autolib electric car-sharing system

Paris pulls the plug on Autolib electric car-sharing system

In a noteworthy development this week, the city of Paris and other local governments voted to cancel their contract with Bollore SA, a French conglomerate which operates the electric car-sharing system called Autolib.

The voting by the lawmakers in Paris and the suburbs participating in the Autolib electric car-sharing scheme was held on Thursday. The results of the vote showed that the lawmakers wanted the contract with Bollore to be cancelled immediately, rather than allowing it to run till 2023.

The Autolib electric car-sharing system was launched by Bollore SA in Paris in the year 2011, and was once deemed to be the future of shared transport in urban areas. Over the years, Autolib has attracted nearly 150,000 subscribers for the car-sharing service.

The recent decision by the officials in Paris to pull the plug on the Autolib electric car-sharing system has come against the backdrop of Bollore’s predictions of losses to the tune of approximately 300 million Euros ($348 million) in the coming five-year period. The company has asked for taxpayers to bear a large part of the estimated losses.

The looming cancellation of the city of Paris’ contract with Bollore underscores the fact that the company’s Autolib electric car-sharing system has failed to prove economically viable, even though Bollore had asserted while introducing Autolib that the system will not cost a cent to the city once it is fully deployed.