Green car scheme planned for Paris

Parisians could soon have access to a fleet of 4,000 electric cars after a bike-sharing scheme launched in the French capital a year ago proved immensely popular.

The city's mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, plans for drivers to be able to pick up one of the cars at a site on the Left Bank, snake up the slopes of Montmartre and then drop it off. They would only have to pay for the minutes spent behind the wheel.

The new project has been welcomed by some drivers, while others see it as a step backwards in what is already a congested city.

The Autolib' scheme will launch late next year or in early 2010, with 2,000 vehicles stationed within Paris and the other 2,000 in the city's suburbs. Drivers would be able to rent cars and drop them off again at any of 700 planned parking spots.

The scheme is aimed at those who are considering buying their first car in a bid to make them think twice and go for the 'green' option instead. A recent survey showed that most Parisians are in favour of a car-sharing project.

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