The French Bollore Group announced in a press conference its IER unit that manages Paris’s Autolib auto-sharing program would invest around 100 million pounds ($166 million) in the Source London electric-car charging service.
The Source service would fall under Bollore management since mid-2014 and the partners announced the network would seek expansion from the current 1,400 battery-charging stations to as much as 6,000 sites by 2018, with a latter addition of a car-sharing service.
Bollore, which has investments in transport, agriculture, energy and communications, is the maker of the Bollore Bluecar electric vehicle that is used in the Autolib fleet. The auto sharing service in Paris should become profitable for the owner October or November this year, just three years after it was set up.
On the other hand, the investment in Source London should pay off in more time – six to seven years as forecasted by the company. The British program is currently operated by Transport for London, which manages the subway and bus networks in London and is operated with the help of German engineering company Siemens AG.
The Bollore company is also in talks with Renault for a potential joint-venture investment in the development of future electric vehicles, while Vincent Bollore, the group’s chairman, also said he’s open to cooperation with other automakers.