French billionaire Vincent Bollore has his sights set on creating the largest U.S. car-sharing program with electric vehicles.
The Bollore Group, the holding company Vincent Bollore chairs, is investing $35 million into BlueIndy, a car-sharing service in Indianapolis that will use as many as 500 of Bollore’s Bluecars and 1,000 charging stations. The program will launch within eight months and the cars being used were designed by Pininfarina.
Bollore’s Bluecars are also used in the Autolib car-sharing program in Paris and can travel about 150 miles per charge, according to Bollore. In order for BlueIndy to break even in Indianapolis, the company will need at least 20,000 annual subscribers. The city of Indianapolis had about 835,000 people in 2012.
According to the company, the batteries used in Bollore’s Bluecars are cheaper than lithium-ion cells used in other electric cars. The batteries are manufactured by Bollore’s Blue Solutions in France’s Brittany province. The man heading the project is the 10th-richest person in France with an estimated personal fortune of $6 billion according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
[Source: Automotive News]
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