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Home > Getting around today > Electric and hybrid cars

Electric driving: cheaper driving?

Electric driving: cheaper driving?

Our web review rounds up all the news so you won’t miss out on the emerging prospects for green transport: this week, electric vehicles let you save money, Autolib’ enjoys great success, and the future of mobility is sketched out.

Hit of the week

Electric cars will apparently enable their owners to save $1,200 (almost £742, at current rates) a year. In any case, this is what has been confirmed by a recent American study by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Although these savings will unfortunately not offset the high cost of batteries, they remain by no means insignificant and should encourage consumers to go electric.

Autolib' is keeping its promise! Morald Chibout, General Manager of Autolib', has announced the first figures for the electric car service, which was launched last December. There are 12,000 customers and around 4,000 subscriptions. These first figures enable the company to ascertain a user profile and to seek out other customers. As a reminder, their target is to reach 80,000 subscriptions within 7 years.


Designing the fifth-generation road: this is the challenge that has emerged from the results of a study conducted by the IDRRIM (the ‘French Institute of Roads, Streets and Infrastructures for Mobility’) in partnership with local authority engineering associations. By 2050, new prospects in terms of urban planning, transport and governance will have opened up. The complete results of this study should be available during April; you’ll be able to find them in our Documentary resources!

On foot or on a bike

The electric bicycle has a bright future ahead. According to a study carried out by Pike Research, the electric bicycle market will grow by 7.4% between 2012 and 2018. We also glean from the study that China will remain the main buyer of electric bikes, far ahead of Western Europe.

In Lille, the V’Lille bike-sharing system is expanding more and more! A widespread rollout is currently being implemented in the suburbs of Martine Aubry’s city. Moreover, Mrs Aubry has confirmed her determination to have the "second-largest bike fleet outside Paris". Since its launch in September 2011, V’Lille has hit 13,000 subscribers, with a total of 1.4 million rentals.

This week, Slate looks at Walk Score, a start-up launched in 2007 that is experiencing growing success. The company establishes the "walkability" of a district. If you type in a (US) physical address, you will obtain a score ranging from 1 to 100 allowing you to judge the range of services and their proximity within the area covered. The tool has been embraced by estate agents, who use this score, among other factors, to determine the quality of life in different districts. Slate considers the potential of the tool, which could also serve in the not-so-distant future to more accurately arbitrate on decisions related to urban infrastructures.

Around the world

Rome goes electric this week, with the announcement by Enel and Acea of a new deal for 200 charging points in the Italian capital. La dolce vita will be within reach of all electric car users, as the framework of the E-Mobility Italy project guarantees interoperability. It’s one of the world’s largest electric mobility projects (more information on the AVEM website).

Widespread wireless charging for all electric vehicles: is this utopia? Perhaps not for much longer… In fact, we learn from AVEM that the US Department of Energy is launching a call for proposals worth $4m (£2.5m) to develop a wireless charging system and to adapt it to one or more prototypes that are intended to evaluate the market prospects of this technology.

China’s conquest of the electric market has been boosted: in fact, the government has just announced a new subsidy plan aiming to roll out up to 5 million vehicles across the ‘Middle Kingdom‘ in the next ten years. All the details can be found on CNET!

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