Paris may have recently ended their contract with Autolib, but it has not ended the city's dream of an electric car sharing program. Renault has announced their plans to replace Autolib's failed scheme. The new service will begin operations in September, the announcement comes while Autolib has just started stripping their charging stations. The French automaker plans to have up to 2000 Zoe and Twizy model electric cars on the street of Paris before the end of the year.
Paris ended Autolib's contract when the company reported a predicted loss of over 300 million euros over the next five years when they were supposed to be in the black. And rather than funding the losses, the city decided to end the contract early. Autolib cited the losses due to competition. However, the car sharing scheme failed mostly due to how poor the condition of the vehicles were left in. Autolib workers reported the drivers did not respect the vehicles, homeless people were sleeping in them and people were doing drugs in the vehicles. The poor condition of the vehicles turned away business and gave their competition an edge against them. And while Autolib failed, many companies hoped to capitalize.
France's PSA group, the makers of the Peugeot and Citroën, plans on deploying a fleet of 500 cars on the streets of Paris by December. Ada, a car hire firm, plans to deploy 50 vehicles in the 11th and 12th arrondissements. And while Parisians may be relieved to have the dirty Autolib vehicles replaced, the new services will not have the reach Autolib had, which was around 100 communes. However, the new electric car sharing scheme has Republicans fearing the city was rushing into "another system about which we don't really know anything." Renault has yet to share pricing details for their service but it is known the new fleet will be able to use the 3244 vacant parking spaces left by Autolib.