First there was the Velib system for bike sharing. Now Paris has launched an Autolib service allowing drivers to share small electric cars. During the pilot program, Autolib members will be able to rent the battery-powered Bluecar for 30 minutes for a cost ranging from $6 to $12, reports the BBC. A membership to use the service will cost $15 a day or about $215 a year. Paris Mayor Bertran Delanoe hopes to have some 3,000 cars at 1,000 stations by the end of next year, but for now, 66 of the "bubble" cars are available at 33 charging stations.
"We want to persuade people to shift from the concept of owning a car to that of using a car," Autolib's general manager told the BBC. The car, made by the same Italian firm that manufactures Ferraris, can run about 155 miles on a single charge. It takes four hours to recharge. One French official insisted private car ownership is so, well, passé.
"Private cars are expensive and people are using them less and less in cities," she told the Los Angeles Times. "We're moving into another culture, the culture of car-sharing." (Read more Paris stories.)