French firm Bolloré has announced a £100m investment plan to massively expand the capital’s electric car network along the lines of the Boris Bike scheme.
The company will take over the existing Source London network of around 1,400 electric charging points from Transport for London (TfL) and Siemens this summer, and hopes to allow Londoners to hire 'green' vehicles for short trips from next year.
It plans to provide London with 6,000 charging points and up to 3,000 cars by 2018, with exact locations depending on the support of the city’s boroughs. Julien Varin, spokesman for Bolloré’s green technology arm BlueSolutions told London’s Evening Standard that one of the major barriers was securing access deals with all the 27 town halls involved in the Source London network.
So far five have been signed up — with Kensington and Chelsea, Greenwich, Hackney, Southwark and Sutton — but Bolloré hope this to rise to 15 by the year’s end. ‘We think electric vehicles are very much the answer for London,’ said Leon Daniels, head of surface transport for TfL.
Mr Daniels claimed the charging network requires no further public funding and TfL would merely be ‘facilitating’ the Bolloré project. Bolloré is moving to London after finding success with its Paris Autolib’ scheme, used by 220,000 drivers, and other car sharing clubs in France and the United States.
A ‘double-decker bus red’ right-hand-drive version of the Autolib will be revealed in on Friday by Vincent Bolloré, the operator’s chairman and chief executive.