The French Saw A Problem Needing A Green Solution. The Result – No Fuss, No Muss, They’ve Left The Green Driving To Us.
In 1999 the port city of La Rochelle, France initiated a car sharing program called the Liselec initiative. With an objective to provide, on a self-service basis, a fleet of 50 electric vehicles available 24/7 from 7 pick-up points chosen based on the amount of traffic, located in and around La Rochelle.
By the end of April 2002, the service had 485 users, with an average of 6 new subscriptions per week. They’ve been growing ever since, enough to warrant three new locations coming online in January.
Customers are issued a proximity card after purchasing either a monthly subscription of 5.5 euros ($ 7.39) or a combined hourly/mileage rate (0.18 € per km / 0.09 € per minute) ( $ 0.24 per km / $ 0.12 per minute).
The vehicles in this all electric fleet are converted Peugeot 106 and Citroën Saxo models. Available 24 hours a day, the proximity card unlocks the vehicle’s doors, the driver enters his/her personal code on a keypad fitted in the dashboard and the vehicle is ready to go. The vehicles are returned to one of the seven pick-up points. Each of the pickup/dropoff points has dedicated parking and charging facilities.
Vehicles are always available and free parking anywhere in La Rochelle area is a nice perk. The direct savings for the users is enormous by avoiding vehicle purchase, service, and insurance costs as well as gas, maintenance, parking and garage charges.
If ever you fly to France, don’t rent a normal car, take care of your carbon jet guilt, and rent one of these for a green piece of mind.
Now, don’t that sound like a big ol’ win – win ….