Ways to deal with the large amounts of greenhouse gases produced by those cars in inner city areas has been a major concern for environmental lobbyists for some time. The car hire industry has been one of the major points of discussion, as has the way in which we use our cars. In Europe especially the drive towards more environmentally friendly forms of transport and more ecologically sound transportation solutions has been gaining pace.
The latest development in this has been from the mayor of Paris. He recently presented plans to allow city dwellers to hire an electric car from various points in the city along a 'pick up and drop off' scheme. The mayor is hoping that by the end of next year there will be almost four thousand electric cars available for hire in the city. Hopefully, those making short journeys will be able to pick up the car in the outskirts and drop it off once they have reached their inner city destination. Of all the capital cities in the world, Paris is taking the first steps towards a more eco-friendly transportation solution.
Some believe that such a scheme could revolutionise transport. He has already expanded the original plans and clearly believes that this is the way to combat rising amounts of greenhouse gases being produce in modern cities. This is a worldwide problem and affects us all; thankfully, at least one official is happy to follow a course that will hopefully reduce smog and be more environmentally friendly. Paris does however have a history of being a forerunner for such schemes. The bikes available for hire in the city have changed the way that residents traverse the capital; the next phase of this is to bring the electric car plans into action.
Schemes like this could be adopted in many cities across the world. Many capitals would benefit from such a scheme that would utilise around seven hundred pick up and drop off points all around the city. As short journeys and city driving are the most harmful to the environment, green campaigners are largely appreciative of the scheme. Such a plan however has only become a reality thanks to advances in GPS technology, allowing system operators to manage the location of vehicles at all times.
The similarities with the bike hire system in place at the moment are hard to dispute, but as this has been a success it is easy to understand why they are incorporating electric cars. Users would have to subscribe to the system along annual basis; however plans are in place to allow a pay as you travel method of payment. Plans may even use a system like London's Oyster card to allow users to pay indirectly for the hire service.
Many cities are facing the problem of overcrowding on the roads and it is hoped that schemes such as this will allow residents to negate the need for owning a car. For instance, a family that only uses their car once a week for shopping would benefit from hiring one instead of owning one. The fact that it is electric cars simply reflects the growing understanding of environmental needs.
Not all green campaigners are entirely happy however. Some argue that instead of catering for people using cars, behaviour should be changed. More important is to increase the use of public transport networks and reduce the congestion on our city roads. In Britain, car sharing schemes are more likely to be adopted over the hire plans used in France. Whatever the arguments surrounding the scheme it is good to see that some officials are trying to create more eco-friendly forms of travel. As the environment becomes an increasingly important factor on the political agenda, solutions like this will undoubtedly become more popular.
Environmental expert Thomas Pretty looks into ways in which electric car hire schemes are being adopted to make cities more eco-friendly.