Paris Velib’ scheme kicks off; 80mph motorways, more on BMW’s ActiveHybrid 5
September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
The Paris Autolib’ gets underway next week – or at least, a preliminary two-month trial of this rental scheme. Reuters reports that the electric Bollore BlueCar runarounds (pictured; designed by Pininfarina) will be offered at 4-8 euros per half-hour to members; membership starts from 10 euros for a day’s driving. The 235million-euro project follows the success of the Velib’ bike-share (which in turn influenced London’s ‘Boris bikes’) and will showcase Bollore’s lithium-polymer battery tech. The scheme is not expected to be profitable for some seven years, Bollore told Reuters, but it’s very much a long-term investment; Paris authorities are keen to tackle the city’s congestion and parking problems as well as to encourage people – residents and tourists alike – to try out EVs. The initial trial phase will involve 66 cars and 33 depots around Paris, going up to 3000 cars and over 1000 ‘stations’ (with charging facilities) by the end of 2012.
- Much debate today over the proposed raising of motorway speed limits to 80mph. The pro camp say journey times will be reduced, and that the 70mph limit (introduced 1965) is no longer appropriate given today’s safer cars; the againsts cite increased fuel consumption and emissions. CO2 up by an average 20% (cars at 80mph compared to 70mph), says Greenpeace; TRL figures (via NextGreenCar) suggest a 17% rise – and 20% if everyone starts to do 90mph, as many surely will. The less-reported part of the story is that the proposed rise would be in parallel with the introduction of more 20mph zones in residential areas and by schools, etc, a sensible move to my mind whatever is done on the motorways.
- Some more details on the BMW ActiveHybrid 5: on sale in the UK in February 2012, priced from £46,860; it’ll return 44.1mpg, it emits 149g/km and 0-62 comes up in 5.9 seconds, reports Autocar.