Bolloré BlueCar electric car used for Autolib' car-sharing service in Paris, September 2012
Until now, if you'd wanted to drive a Bollore Bluecar electric vehicle, all you'd have required as a few Euros per hour to take one of the little vehicles around the crowded roads of Paris, France.
Bollore has now put the Bluecar on sale to the French public, at a starting price of 12,000 Euros--only $15,500.
Battery rental costs 80 Euros (just over $100) monthly, for unlimited mileage. That's very similar to France's other new electric car, the Renault Zoe. The Zoe retails for a little more than the Bluecar, at 13,700 Euros, and battery rental with limited mileage starts at 79 Euros.
Both retail prices include France's 7,000 Euro ($9,000) electric vehicle incentive.
The Bluecar seats four, tops out at 75 mph and has a range of up to 155 miles in the city (93 miles at highway speeds), significantly more than that offered by other electric vehicles its size.
While those figures and its compact size could make it quite useful as daily transport in France, early reviews of the car haven't been so positive, as its car-sharing origins mean equipment is sparse and quality lags behind that of regular production cars.
The Pininfarina-penned Bluecar started life in Parisian car-sharing service AutoLib, based on the Velolib bike-sharing scheme. Thanks to that service, there are already over 1,750 Bluecars roaming Paris, and the scheme has also resulted in the installation of hundreds of roadside chargers.
The service has so far been a success, the Autolib saying its cars are rented 4,000-5,000 times per week--for anything from a few minutes to several hours. 70 percent of subscribers don't own a car themselves.
Whether any of these subscribers will take the leap into ownership now the Bluecar is on sale remains to be seen--but if so, it could see the car's popularity extend beyond the streets of the capital.