Will London embrace the Bollore’s ‘mobile love nest’ electric cars? Good Question.

June 14th, 2015 § Comments Off on Will London embrace the Bollore’s ‘mobile love nest’ electric cars? Good Question. § permalink

Forget illicit trysts on Hampstead Heath or an amorous evening at a boutique hotel. According to the French firm charged with bringing electric motoring to the capital, frisky young Londoners could soon be seeking intimacy in tiny battery-powered city cars.Bollore ElectricCar via www.evmeerkat.com

The new red electric cars, unveiled to the public for the first time, are part of a £100m project that hopes to turn London into the “green driving” capital of the world and clean up its toxic air.

Before the cars had even got on the move, however, a company spokesman had already been quoted as saying that he expected the scheme to prove popular with young people – who have already used the firm’s cars in Paris to “make love” in. “They use them like a hotel. You can use them for anything,” a spokesman said.

With four seats, a good-sized boot, satellite navigation and a promised range of 150 miles, the Bolloré group’s new ride certainly has the legs for a late-night rendezvous.

The electric cars soon to be launched in London, following Blue Point's take over of the Source London electric car schemeThe electric cars soon to be launched in London, following Blue Point’s take over of the Source London electric car scheme

It was rapidly made clear at the launch, however, that the spokesman’s comments from earlier in the week were merely a “joke” that was lost in translation – and that The Independent’s test in one of the first 10 cars to arrive in the UK would not involve sampling the capital’s more salacious hotspots.

And Christophe Arnaud, director of Bluepoint London, the Bolloré subsidiary running the charging-point network, was also anxious to point out that the firm was not expecting the cars to be impounded by the police on the hunt for those committing acts of public indecency.

First impressions on the car itself are not mind-blowing. The exterior was designed by the same firm that works with Ferrari, but lacks the supercar maker’s inherent sex appeal. And the faux-leather seats and cramped city-car interior hardly makes for a romantic proposition in sticky London summer heat.

Vincent Bollore, chairman of Bollore GroupVincent Bollore, chairman of Bollore Group

While it’s hard to see many people ditching their Range Rovers for one, it’s nippy enough and will work extremely well as an inner-city runabout, which is exactly what it’s designed as.

It’s nippy and quick off the lights, boasts plenty of boot space and has already proved popular in Paris with 200,000 users signed up in the past four years. The as yet-unnamed scheme will allow drivers to rent one for as little as around £10 an hour. In preparation for the scheme’s first 50 cars, Bolloré has taken over the Source London charging network, with the aim of overhauling it entirely to allow a fleet of 3,000 battery-powered Bolloré cars on the road by 2018, making use of 6,000 planned charging points across the capital.

Vincent Bolloré, the chief executive of Bolloré Group, said that the new model would be an “electric car for the people” that would also reduce pollution.

There are currently 1,400 charging point for electric cars in the capital under the Source London scheme that London Mayor, Boris Johnson, set up in 2011 and Bolloré took over last year – but 40 per cent of these are currently out of order.

Critics also point out that the Bolloré scheme is running six months behind schedule after prolonged negotiations with all 27 town halls across London for access.

Stephen Knight, a Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly, said Boris Johnson’s policies on electric cars have been “half-hearted and poorly implemented” and that the city needed a “rapid switch” to electric buses and taxis to tackle air pollution.

Driving force: Vincent Bolloré

French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, the chairman and chief executive of the group behind the new electric car scheme, has made his fortune by snapping up large stakes in troubled companies and now has interests in everything from communications to transport and logistics.

Bolloré began his career as an investment bank trainee at Edmond de Rothschild before taking control of the Bolloré Group in 1981. A close friend of the former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, Bolloré transformed the struggling family business from a firm focusing on bible paper and cigarette paper to one of the 500 largest companies in the world.

French company to put 3,000 electric ‘Boris cars’ on the streets of London

March 12th, 2014 § Comments Off on French company to put 3,000 electric ‘Boris cars’ on the streets of London § permalink

A French company today announced plans to put 3,000 electric rental cars onto London’s streets.

Londoners will be able to hire the cars and drop them off at any one of thousands of charging points in a system billed as the automotive equivalent of the “Boris bike” scheme. » Read the rest of this entry «

#Electriccar #ev(s) are coming this way – whether you like it or not

March 1st, 2013 § Comments Off on #Electriccar #ev(s) are coming this way – whether you like it or not § permalink

I have often argued that government regulations will eventually force electric cars upon us whether we want them or not. It is happening now in Europe where politicians see advantage in endorsing electric cars to establish their credentials in the climate change debate.

Nissan LeafLondon’s colourful mayor, Boris Johnson, recently announced plans to ban motorists who don’t have a green or hybrid car from driving in central London in the daytime by 2020.

Electric cars are now political instruments. I’m sure Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn was expecting this when he invested billions to become the world leader in electric vehicle production. There are only a handful in Canada, but around the world, there are roughly 50,000 all-electric Nissan Leafs on the road. I’m sure Boris Johnson sold a few more of them in London with his announcement.

The political usefulness of electric cars has been further elevated in the Scottish independence campaign, of all things. The Yes side believes electric cars might be the issue that helps Scotland achieve independence.

Next year, there will be a referendum that asks Scottish voters, “Should Scotland be an Independent Country?” The pro-independence SNP (Scottish National Party), which holds the majority in the Scottish Assembly, last week chose the electric car as a means to woo voters.

Going green is more popular than going independent for Scots. Polls conducted last year by Friends of the Earth Scotland found that 88 per cent of Scots support plans to reduce fossil fuel use and to increase alternate electricity production. The latest newspaper polls, on the other hand, show that less than a third of Scots support independence.

So SNP politicians have promised to install an electric car charging point at least every 50 miles on major roads. They’re promising free charging points for homeowners and charging points at shopping centres, places of work, car parks and ferry terminals.

The reasoning is that boosting the adoption of electric cars gets Scotland closer to energy independence. Scotland has a smaller population (5.2 million people) than England (53 million) and more wide open space. Wind power, tidal power and biomass is hoped to keep the lights on and the cars running. And if you expect to become energy independent, then why not go all the way?

Over the past two years, the SNP-led Scottish government has bought a small fleet of electric vehicles, built charging stations and bought a number of hydrogen fuel-cell buses for Aberdeen. Scotland has ambitious targets for reducing CO2 emissions and for increasing the use of renewable energy sources. Focusing on energy independence and going green is clearly part of the referendum strategy.

Electric cars as political footballs – it’s happening now. Election results will matter more than showroom displays in determining how quickly electric cars are upon us.

Boris Johnson: ‘I delivered every single one of my green pledges’

August 28th, 2012 § Comments Off on Boris Johnson: ‘I delivered every single one of my green pledges’ § permalink

As London prepares to go to the polls to elect its next mayor on Thursday,BusinessGreen caught up with incumbent mayor Boris Johnson via email, who is determined to hold the mayoralty for another four years.

Johnson has faced constant criticism from green businesses and campaigners over his environmental record in recent years, with attacks focusing on the continued failure to bring the capital into line with EU air quality standards, cuts to a number of environmental programmes, and the decision not to extend the city##Q##s congestion charging scheme.

But the mayor insists he has delivered on every one of theenvironmental pledges he set when he entered office in 2008, including boosting the number of hybrid buses in Transport for London##Q##s fleet and initiating work to cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2020.

BusinessGreen: If you are re-elected on 3 May, what will you do to support green businesses?
Boris Johnson:
 Our programmes tackling climate change will not only make London a better place for our children, they are creating jobs for Londoners now. Up to 14,000 jobs could be created every year as part of £721m of low-carbon activity, promoting retrofitting and cleaner transport.

Under my leadership, City Hall has taken the lead in driving the green economy. Our RE:NEW programme has helped 55,000 London households reduce their carbon footprint, as well as their energy bills. Our RE:FIT programme has retro-fitted 42 public buildings with carbon-reducing technology, delivering 5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions reductions and an average 28 per cent energy saving per building. Under our RE:CONNECT programme, 10 Low Carbon Zones have been created across London to pioneer carbon reduction in our city.

In my next term of office, I will continue our investment in these schemes and extend RE:NEW to a further 20,000 houses. I will also expand electric car charging points to 1,300, giving Londoners more charge points than petrol stations, and expanding the GLA##Q##s electric fleet to 1,000.

What would you highlight as your top three green achievements from your time in office?
Since I was elected in 2008, I have delivered on all the green election pledges I set out that are so vital in helping to make London a better place. One of my top green achievements is the successful work that has been done to protect London##Q##s green spaces and plant 10,000 street trees.

In 2009, I launched the £4m Help a London Park scheme as part of mycommitment to clean up and improve the capital##Q##s rundown green spaces. Improvements have included new play equipment for children, improved access and security, extensive new landscaping and the creation of a wildlife habitat. In total, I am delivering improvements to 300 acres of green space across our city.

We need to focus on enabling more successful schemes such as this. By the start of the Olympics, I will have invested over £335m in 80 public space projects that people living, working, and visiting the city will be able to enjoy.

Street trees improve air quality as well as quality of life for Londoners. Earlier this year I planted our 10,000th street tree since 2008, fulfilling one of my key election promises. If I am re-elected I will deliver 20,000 street trees by 2016.

In addition to trees planted by the GLA I am working with the Forestry Commission, and through my RE:LEAF programme we have planted 100,000 trees since 2008.

Another ##Q##green achievement##Q## I##Q##m particularly proud of is the introduction of the £5m to create a Clean Air Fund for London to improve air quality in hotspots. This fund will:

• Help reduce pollution at the worst hotspots for particulate matter (PM10).
• Reduce idling through improved signage and infrastructure, contain targeted interventions with specific vehicles such as taxis and coaches, and awareness raising activities and enforcement.
• Installing diesel particulate filters on buses travelling along hotspot locations, such as Upper Thames Street, Marylebone Road and Park Lane.

I will continue to champion improvements to London##Q##s air quality and work constructively with the government on the issue. I will keep the 100 per cent congestion charge discount for low-emission vehicles so there is a real financial incentive for Londoners to drive the cleanest vehicles available and work with the new London Health Improvement Board to engage the health service in addressing poor air quality.

Your opponents have highlighted figures showing you spent just £40m of an £84m climate change budget over the past four years. How can you explain the underspend and what reassurances can you offer green businesses that support for the capital##Q##s green economy will increase in the future?
I have delivered on every single one of the pledges contained in my 2008 environment manifesto. In fact, I have delivered on more than 90 per cent of my election promises from 2008. In contrast, in Ken Livingstone##Q##s time in office he broke more than half the promises he made.

This election is about trust, and right from the start I have been upfront about my plans, my record of delivery and even my taxes. I stand on my record, and green businesses can be assured I will deliver on my manifesto at this election.




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