Autolib’: short-distance electric car rental network for the Paris Region

The region

Paris and the Île-de-France region account for an overall population of over ten million inhabitants. Car traffic in the region is intense: in Paris alone, there are 330 cars for every 1 000 inhabitants, running for a mere four kilometres per day on average.

The challenge

While measures to encourage alternative means of transport have decreased motorcar traffic by 24% in the last decade, the public transport offer did not provide sufficient alternatives to owning a private vehicle, especially for daily commuters (40% of the Paris car traffic), but also in other situations (insufficient taxis, short business trips etc.).

The satellite solution

In December 2011, Paris and other municipalities in Île-de-France have launched Autolib’, an electric car-for-rent public transport network for short distances. The service consists of 250 4-seat electric cars and 250 stations, spread throughout the region. The cars can run autonomously for about 250km.

The satnav application enables service subscribers to find the closest available car, on a website or using their smartphones, thanks to a free iPhone app. Each car is equipped with a GPS that enables itinerary planning, finding the location of recharging stations, and booking parking spaces. This means vehicles can be returned to any charging station.

The GPS is an indispensable tool for fleet management, for service operators to know when a vehicle is driven out of the Paris Île-de-France Region, and to localise users in case of emergency.

The result

Autolib’ provides an affordable and eco-friendly service fully integrated with the overall public transport network in the region. Those who cannot afford a car can now use one, without the ownership costs.

Early surveys show that 92% of the Autolib’ users would recommend it to their friends and family and 86% think that the service will reduce pollution and traffic stress. By the end of 2012, 1 100 stations, with nearly 6 600 recharging points and 3 000 electric cars will be available. In the long term, the extension of the service is expected to lead to an estimated annual reduction of nearly 300 000t of CO2.

Autolib’ is a tool to facilitate the process of sharing and exchange between our territories, and brings the promise of modern solidarity”. Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris.