Europe: affordable electric alternatives to Tesla’s luxury image

The Tesla Model S has garnered almost universal praise for being a luxurious, technically capable fully electric sedan that delivers both performance and zero emissions.

The only problem is its prohibitive price – it sticker price in the US starts at $71, 000 – though the car that can reach six-figure prices is not short on clients, which have yielded a waiting list that is months long. But those who seek an anti-Tesla weapon can rest assured – it’s already present in Paris and can be had immediately for just 20 cents a minute. It’s the Autolib service – Vincent Bollore’s idea of crossing paths between ride-sharing services and green vehicles. The French billionaire that has a controlling stake in Vivendi is the mind behind Autolib, a car-sharing service in France that has its own brand of electric hatchback cars, called Bluecars. Those choosing the Model S for its attributes of power and luxury need to stay clear of this anti-Tesla model: it’s an affordable, bug-like designed and no-frills electric that can be rented with no upfront investment on the driver’s part.

Bollore, 62, has turned the family-owned 193-year-old paper-making business into an $11 billion conglomerate called Groupe Bollore, and his foray into electric cars is dubbed as technologically above what Tesla has achieved. “The key element in an electric vehicle isn’t the vehicle, it’s the electrical systems,” comments the billionaire. “We think that our technology is far superior” to Tesla’s. He spent years and 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) researching, developing and producing the cars and batteries to be used in Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux and now wants the service to have a global audience. That expansion plans start with Indianapolis, US, in June and continue with London, UK, later on this year. Then the program should reach Singapore and Los Angeles if all goes according to plan.

Via Bloomberg