Parisians Share Electric Cars
Hot on the trail of Paris' bicycle sharing scheme comes Autolib, a car-sharing idea that the city claims is a world first. Owning your own car, says the transport authority, is just so passé.
What's the Latest Development?
Paris has begun testing an electric car-sharing program designed to decrease automobile ownership in the French capital. Called Bluecars, city officials envision 5,000 of the little electric vehicle to be shuttling citizens around Paris by 2013. "Private cars are expensive and people are using them less and less in cities," said Annick Lepetit, in charge of transport at city hall. "We're moving into another culture, the culture of car sharing. It's the same principle as [the city's bicycle sharing program]: you use the car, leave it and that's it. Simple."
What's the Big Idea?
While skeptical Parisians call the program a back-scratching scheme hatched by President Nicolas Sarkozy and his business friends, the official line—one which would perhaps be no less controversial in the U.S.—is that the program is meant to discourage private car ownership. Still, with over half the world's population already living in cities, and that number climbing, car ownership must be curbed if metropolitan areas are to resemble anything like pleasant living spaces. Will car-sharing catch on elsewhere just as Paris' bike-sharing program did?
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Air pollution up to five times over the EU limit in Central London hotspots
- Dirty air is an invisible killer, but an effective one.
- This map visualises the worst places to breathe in Central London.
The Great Smog of 1952
Invisible, but still deadly
Image: MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images
London Mayor Sadiq Khan
Image: Transport for London
ULEZ phases 1 and 2, and LEZ
- Mr Khan has pledged to spend £800 million on air quality over a five-year period.
- Uber fares will rise by 15p (20¢) to help drivers buy electric cars.
- By October 2021, the ULEZ will expand to cover a greater part of Central London.
Central London's worst places for breathing
Heathrow (bottom left on the overview map) is another pollution hotspot
Image: Mike Malone, CC BY SA 4.0
Traffic congestion on London's Great Portland Street
As bad as Delhi, worse than New York
Image: Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
By some measures, London's air quality is almost as bad as New Delhi's.
Google joins fight against air pollution
Image: laszlo-photo, CC BY SA 2.0
Elephant & Castle, London.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
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