Paris pulls plug from electrical deelauto’s

d51dcabab761785352ea247bc39d89be - Paris pulls plug from electrical deelauto's

Paris with Velib and Autolib is a trendsetter for the city greener and healthier. But it went wrong.

With some imagination you could be in the gray deelautootjes of Autolib small stylized elephants, with their “trunk” their battery stood on. But soon, they disappear from the Parisian cityscape. The project was a financial fiasco.

Autolib was launched in 2011 by the then socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe. Except for the city of Paris names there are still about a hundred municipalities in the Parisian agglomeration. The condition was that the deelauto’s, after the initial investment, the city and the other towns are nothing more if cost. Therefore, the development and operation of the network until 2023 entrusted to a privépartner, the industrial group of the billionaire Vincent Bolloré.

Gross miscalculation

On the territory of Great Paris came to 1,100 charging stations – each of which reportedly 60,000 euro cost. In the city were more than 3,000 parking spaces reserved for the fleet, which is now about 4,000 cars.

Autolib counts, according to the newspaper Le Monde , meanwhile, about 100,000 regular users. Bolloré had at the start of the project made strong, that the subsystem be profitable would be from 50.000 subscribers. That turned out to be a gross miscalculation.

For the failure of Autolib are a lot of reasons. According to some experts knocked the business model, not because the cars are not should be reduced to the space of departure. That means that there are all the parking spaces for the cars, charging stations should be, what the infrastructure costs significantly opdreef. During the charging of the batteries, the car also few hours, what weighed on returns.

Green competitors

Autolib also turned out to barely do what it was intended, namely, ordinary cars that use fossil fuel from the city crowd. The deelauto’s were mainly used by people who themselves have no car. So they were a competitor for the public transport, not private cars.

Moreover, it emerged there are now other green means of transport in the Parisian streets, such as deelscooters, electric bicycles, and recently even electric scooters. That are equal competitors for the deelauto.

Bolloré lost a lot of money to the project, and expected there is no change in. The company predicted a deficit of 46 million euros per year until 2023, when the license expires. Paris and the other towns refused to run for that losses, such as Bolloré wanted to. Therefore, they decided Thursday to terminate the contract. The next month disappear, the cars gradually from the Parisian streets.


The cessation of Autolib is on top of the debacle of Velib, the deelfietsen that Paris is an example set for many other cities. Velib, which launched in 2007, was for many years a huge success. But last year, after the contract with the initial operator JC Jcdecaux was over, went to Paris in the sea with another, much smaller company, Smovengo. That did have experience with deelfietsen in smaller cities, but it turned out the 1,200 fietsstations in Paris not to be able to verhapstukken. Other deelfietsbedrijven, who, without fixed stations, such as the Chinese companies, Ofo and Mobike, and dived immediately into the hole.

The charging stations and parking spaces of Autolib will be preserved, promised mayor Anne Hidalgo, the greening of the Parisian traffic is a priority. They are placed at the disposal of electric private cars. Now is already discussed with other interested parties, such as Renault and PSA, to re-deelauto to drive in Paris.

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