Bolloré Bluecar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bolloré Bluecar
Paris Autolib 06 2012 Bluecar 2907.JPG
Bolloré Bluecar in Paris
ManufacturerVéhicule Électriques Pininfarina Bolloré
Body and chassis
ClassCity car (A)
Body style3-door
LayoutFF layout
Electric motor50 kW (68 PS; 67 bhp) Electric
Battery30 kWh lithium polymer (LMP) battery
Electric range
  • 250 km (160 mi) in urban use
  • 150 km (93 mi) on the highway
Wheelbase2,500 mm (98.4 in)
Length3,300 mm (129.9 in)
Width1,720 mm (67.7 in)
Height1,610 mm (63.4 in)
Kerb weight1,070 kg (2,359 lb)

The Bolloré Bluecar is a small four-seat, three-door electric car supplied by Bolloré, designed by Pininfarina and manufactured by Cecomp in Bairo, Italy, under a joint venture owned by Bolloré and Pininfarina called Véhicule Électriques Pininfarina Bolloré (VEPB). The car has a 30kWh lithium metal polymer (LMP) battery, coupled to a supercapacitor, that provides an electric range of 250 km (160 mi) in urban use, and a maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph).[1]

Originally shown as the Pininfarina B0 concept car in 2008, the production version was launched in 2011 with the first 250 production version Bluecars deployed as part of the Autolib' carsharing program in Paris on December 5, 2011.[2] In October 2012, the Bluecar first became available to retail customers through leasing,[3] and sales began in February 2013 at a price of €19,000 plus a monthly fee of €80 for the batteries.[4] As of September 2016, a total of 5,689 units had been registered in France, most of which are in service for the Autolib' program.[5][6] The Bolloré Bluecar was the top selling highway-capable electric car in that country in 2012.[7][needs update]

In 2014, Bolloré entered into a 70/30 joint venture with Renault to manufacture a three-seat version of the Bluecar from the second half of 2015.[8]


The Bolloré BlueCar concept exhibited at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show (left) and the Pininfarina-Bolloré B0 concept car exhibited at the 2008 Paris Motor Show (right).

Bolloré Bluecar concept[edit]

The Bolloré Group, through its subsidiary BatScap, presented the Bluecar EV, a road-ready prototype, at the 2005 Geneva Auto Show. The company intended to showcase the potential of the company's lithium-ion battery technology. The BlueCar concept car used a 30 kW electric motor powered by a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery pack positioned at the centre of the car under the seats and in front of the rear axle.[9][10]

Pininfarina B0 concept[edit]

The Pininfarina B0 (B Zero) is a concept electric car designed by Pininfarina in collaboration with Bolloré, which was introduced at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.[11]

The car incorporates a lithium metal polymer battery matched up with a supercapacitor developed by Bolloré's subsidiary Batscap in the original 2005 concept Bluecar.[9] The energy storage component not only allows for high regenerative braking and acceleration capabilities but also extends the life of the battery. A range of 250 km and a top speed of 130 km/h have been announced for the vehicle, as well as 0–60 km/h acceleration time of 6.3 seconds.[12]

Production version[edit]

Following the 2005 version of the Bluecar,[10] the new Bluecar project was developed by the Pininfarina Design department, led by the Flemish designer Lowie Vermeersch, who had previously coordinated other projects such as the Pininfarina Sintesi and the Ferrari California. The car was dedicated to the memory of Andrea Pininfarina, who died two months before its unveiling and who was a firm believer in the project.

Bolloré Bluecars charging at an Autolib' kiosk on Rue de Vaugirard, Paris

The main differences between the production Bluecar and the B0 concept car is in the detail design. The production version is launched as a three-door compared to the B0's five-door design. The photovoltaic roof was omitted and the front and rear lights and interior dashboard are simplified.


A total of 399 Bluecars were registered in France in 2011,[13] 1,543 during 2012.[14] The Bolloré Bluecar was the top selling highway-capable electric car in the French market in 2012, and represented 27% of electric cars registered in the country during that year.[7] Cumulative sales in France totaled 5,689 units by the end of September 2016,[5] with over 2,000 units deployed in the Autolib' carsharing program.[6]


The Bluecar is a three-door hatchback electric car with four seats. Both the retail and Autolib' versions share the same drivetrain specification. The electric car has a 30 kWh lithium metal polymer battery located under the passenger seats, coupled to a supercapacitor, that provides an electric range of 250 km (160 mi) in the city and 150 km (93 mi) on the highway at a maximum power of 50 kW.[1] The maximum speed is 130 km/h (81 mph) and the battery weighs 300 kg (660 lb).[15] The batteries are made in Bolloré owned facilities in two locations, one in Brittany, France and the other in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.[16]

Bolloré is unique in integrating solid-state batteries into production vehicles.[17] The LMP batteries consist of a laminate of four ultra-thin materials: (1) metallic lithium foil anode that acts as both a lithium source and a current collector; (2) solid polymeric electrolyte created by dissolving a lithium salt in a solvating co-polymer (polyoxyethylene); (3) cathode composed of vanadium oxide, carbon, and polymer to form a plastic composite; and (4) aluminium foil current collector.[18]

Markets and sales[edit]

Car sharing programs[edit]

Three Bolloré Bluecars charging at an Autolib' Station on Rue du Quatre Septembre, Paris

The first Bluecar electric cars were delivered for the Autolib' carsharing program. Bolloré won the contract to deploy these electric cars together with 1,120 stations with parking and charging stations.[2][19] A total of 66 Bluecars were deployed for the two-month trial period that began in October 2011,[20] and service began on December 5, 2011, with 250 Bluecars available to the public, and rising to 1,000 cars by early March 2012, and about 2,000 units by September 2013.[6][21]

Bluecar in service for the Bluely scheme in Lyon.

By early 2013 in France, the Bolloré Group announced plans to launch a similar carsharing service in Lyon, and Bordeaux, but under a different brand name (Bluely in Lyon and Bluecub in Bordeaux) with no cost to the cities. Bolloré's proposal is to fund the entire infrastructure, install and provide the vehicles, and cover the costs of maintenance and repairs. After these two schemes are implemented, the company plans to launch similar systems abroad beginning with a city in Asia.[22] The Bluely began service in October 2013 with an initial fleet of 130 vehicles and 51 parking and charging stations.[23] The BlueCub, began operating in January 2014 with an initial fleet of 90 vehicles, 40 parking stations and 180 charging stations.[24]

In May 2014 in the US, the Bluecars were showcased to the public in Indianapolis for a public car-sharing program called BlueIndy.[25] The carsharing service was opened to the public in September 2015. BlueIndy began with 25 charging stations and 50 all-electric Bluecars around the city at launch.[26] The Bluecars operated by the BlueIndy service were adapted to meet American regulations from the French version. In addition, the models used in the U.S. have air conditioning and more airbags, also size is slightly bigger and have more weight.[27] The U.S. models have a range of about 195 km (120 miles) and a top speed of 115 km/h (70 mph).[28] Over 500 members signed up for annual subscriptions during the first month of operation.[29] By the end of June 2016 there were 230 Bluecars in operation with 74 pick-up/drop off sites, each with five charging stations. The membership totaled 2,100 registered members,[30] and never exceeded 3,000, despite $7 million in subsidies from Indianapolis and from Indianapolis Power & Light.[31]

A Bolloré Bluecar parked at a BlueSG charging station in Singapore.
A Bolloré Bluecar by Bluecity parked in London.

In 2017, Bluecity,[32] BlueLA[33] and BlueSG[34] began operations in London, Los Angeles and Singapore respectively. The service in Los Angeles started as a program targeted at low-income people[33] and achieved relative success in their pilot program. In 2019, BlueLA secured US$3 million to expand their services within the city.[35] In Singapore, under an agreement with Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Economic Development Board, the aim of introducing the electric car program was to reduce the car population and also carbon emissions in the city-state.[36] Within the first 3 weeks of operations, over 3000 members signed up for the BlueSG, with 5000 rentals completed.[37]

Autolib', BlueIndy and BlueCity ceased operations in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively, citing failure to achieve scalability in the respective cities that they operated in.[38][39][40] In February 2021, Goldbell Group, a Singaporean company, announced it had acquired BlueSG from Bolloré and the acquisition was finalised by October of the same year, after being in discussions since June 2020. According to Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, BlueSG has been in a deficit since its launch, with the company making a loss of S$9.3 million in 2019.[41] While in July 2021, BlueSG's network of 1,500 charging stations was sold to TotalEnergies, which would continue to operate and maintain the charging stations.[42]

Retail version[edit]

Bluecars at the Autolib' charging station near Palais Garnier.

Leasing to individual and corporate customers began in October 2012 and is limited to the Île-de-France area. The Bluecar is available at a rate of €500 (US$648) per month, with a minimum contract for 3 months and a maximum of 20 months. The pricing includes insurance, charging in the Autolib' stations and parking. The retail version shares the same design and specification but has several differences with the vehicles deployed for Autolib, particularly its blue exterior color, unlike the Autolib' version's silver unpainted aluminum exterior.[3][43]

In February 2013, Bolloré announced it was discontinuing the leasing program and began retail sales of the Bluecar starting at a price of €19,000 (US$24,850) before the value added tax and the €7,000 government bonus, plus a monthly fee of €80 (US$105) for the batteries. Bolloré also offers an optional package for the installation of a wall-box home charging station for €995 (US$1,300), and for an optional monthly fee of €15 (US$20), owners can have access to the Autolib' network of charging stations around Paris.[4][44]

Bluecar used by Atos MyCar corporate carsharing service in Bezons, France.

Atos MyCar[edit]

Atos and Bolloré Group launched the MyCar corporate carsharing pilot program in December 2012. The service is dedicated to Atos employees for their business travel needs at the company's headquarters in Bezons, France. Atos employees can book a car on the Atos intranet, pick it up and drive away. Besides promoting a more sustainable way to travel for business, Atos also expects that the MyCar service will reduce time spent booking travel and taxis, as well as the need for expense claims for business kilometers traveled, taxis and parking.[45][46]

A fleet of ten Atos branded Bolloré Bluecars were initially deployed, and photovoltaic panels covering 60m2 provide a power of 12 kW to charge the vehicles at the Bezons site. In addition, during their trips users can also access the 3,500 Autolib' charging stations available in Paris and its surrounding area. The carsharing service is part of Atos "Zero carbon" initiative that aims to reduce by 50% Atos carbon footprint by 2015.[45][46]

Fire incidents[edit]

On October 14, 2013, a Bluecar burned down while parked and charging at an Autolib' carsharing kiosk in Paris and the fire then spread to a second Bluecar. A police investigation is looking into the cause of the fire. According to Bolloré, the real-time telemetric monitoring system did not register a thermal runaway problem with the battery of the car where the fire started. The company is attributing the origin of the fire to an external cause, probably vandalism. Bolloré reported that a total of 25 Bluecars in service for Autolib' have burnt during the previous two years, most of them certified as attributed to vandals.[47][48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "bluecar La citadine 100% électrique" (PDF) (in French). France: Bluecar. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  2. ^ a b "All charged up for sharing". The Economist. 2011-09-10. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  3. ^ a b Laurent Lepsch (2012-10-08). "Louez une Bluecarpour 500 € par mois" [Lease a Bluecar for €500 per month] (in French). Auto News. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  4. ^ a b Michaël Torregrossa (2013-02-21). "Voiture électrique – La Bluecar de Bolloré disponible pour 12.000 €" [Electric Cars – Bolloré Bluecar available for € 12,000] (in French). Association pour l'Avenir du Véhicule Electrique Méditerranéen (AVEM). Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  5. ^ a b Cobb, Jeff (2016-10-10). "France Becomes Fifth Nation To Buy 100,000 Plug-in Vehicles". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  6. ^ a b c Michaël Torregrossa (2013-10-19). "Paris – Autolib' passe le seuil des 3 millions de locations" [Paris – Autolib' passes the threshold of 3 million rentals] (in French). Association pour l'Avenir du Véhicule Electrique Méditerranéen (AVEM). Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  7. ^ a b Yoann Nussbaumer (2013-01-16). "+115% pour les ventes de voitures électriques en France pour 2012" [Electric car sales in France increased 115% in 2012] (in French). Automobile Propre. Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2013-02-09.
  8. ^ "Renault to build Bollore's electric Bluecars". Reuters. 2014-09-09. Archived from the original on 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
  9. ^ a b "The 2006 Geneva Motor Show" (PDF). Batscap. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  10. ^ a b "Bolloré Brings Road-Ready BlueCar EV to Geneva; Plans to Build More". Green Car Congress. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  11. ^ "Pininfarina B0 (B Zero) Electric Car Revealed At The Paris Auto Show". Ridelust. Archived from the original on 2015-06-17. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  12. ^ "A TECHNOLOGY AT THE FOREFRONT" (PDF). Bollore Bluecar. Retrieved 2012-03-25.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Laurent Meillaud (2012-01-14). "2630 voitures électriques immatriculées en 2011" [2630 electric cars registered in 2011] (in French). MSN France. Archived from the original on 2013-06-06. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  14. ^ "Chiffres de vente & immatriculations de voitures électriques en France" [Sales figures & electric car registrations in France] (in French). Automobile Propre. Retrieved 2016-06-27. See "Ventes de voitures électriques en 2016/2015/2014/2013/2012/2011." A total of 399 Bluecars were registered in 2011, 1,543 in 2012, 658 in 2013, 1,170 in 2014, and 1,166 in 2015, and 451 during the first five months of 2016.
  15. ^ John Voelcker (2012-10-02). "Bollore Bluecar: Sharing Paris's Most Popular Electric Car". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  16. ^ "About Bolloré Group". Bollore Bluecar website. Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  17. ^ David Jolly, Yann Cres, and Sophie Dimitriadis (2015-06-12). "Vincent Bolloré's Long Bet on Solid-State Batteries for Electric Cars". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-04-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Bolloré Group Introduces BlueCar Lithium-Metal-Polymer EV Concept". 2005-03-07. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
  19. ^ "Electric motoring with Autolib'". Mairie de Paris. Archived from the original on 2011-03-21.
  20. ^ David Jolly (2011-10-03). "Paris Tests Short-Term Rentals of Electric Cars". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-05.
  21. ^ Michaël Torregrossa (2012-03-07). "Bolloré Bluecar – 1000 immatriculations pour Autolib' et début des livraisons pour les particuliers" [Bolloré Bluecar – 1000 cars registered for Autolib’ and deliveries for individuals begin] (in French). Association pour l'Avenir du Véhicule Electrique Méditerranéen (AVEM). Retrieved 2012-03-21.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Après Paris et Lyon, Bolloré veut lancer Autolib' à Bordeaux" [After Paris and Lyon, Bolloré wants to launch Autolib 'in Bordeaux]. Relax News (in French). Droid Finances. 2013-02-26. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  23. ^ "BlueLy". Blue Solutions. 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-02-24. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  24. ^ "Bolloré inaugure ses Bluecub à Bordeaux" (in French). 2014-01-10. Archived from the original on 2015-02-24. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  25. ^ Drew Blair (2014-05-19). "Nation's largest all-electric car share program unveiled in Indy". WishTV. Retrieved 2015-07-21.
  26. ^ Brad Tuttle (2015-09-02). "Groundbreaking Electric Car Sharing Program Launches in an Unlikely City". Time. Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-18.
  27. ^ Mark Kane (2015-10-18). "Bollore Might Sell Bluecar To General Public In U.S." Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  28. ^ Morrison, Lauren. "Blue Indy". MotorWeek. Retrieved 2016-07-30.
  29. ^ Sebastian Blanco (2015-11-09). "BlueIndy's early stats: Over 500 members, 3,000 rides". Autoblog. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  30. ^ Voelcker, John (2016-06-30). "BlueIndy electric car-sharing: after 9 months, how's it doing?". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2016-07-04. A total of 230 Bolloré Bluecars were in operation for the BlueIndy carsharing service in Indianapolis by the end of June 2016.
  31. ^ "BlueIndy electric cars will be repurposed; some are already crushed".
  32. ^ Smith, Rebecca (2017-06-14). "Bluecity is expanding its electric car sharing service across London after successful Hammersmith and Fulham pilot". City A.M. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  33. ^ a b Kane, Makr (2017-06-30). "City of Los Angeles Kicks Off EV Sharing Program For Low-Income Families". Inside EVs. US. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  34. ^ "Singapore's first electric car-sharing programme to launch in December". Channel News Asia. 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  35. ^ "BlueLA Electric Vehicle Carshare Pilot a success after one year – awarded $3 million to expand to three additional disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles". Shared Used Mobility Center, Los Angeles. April 23, 2019. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  36. ^ "Can BlueSG steer the car-sharing industry towards a greener direction?". Channel News Asia. December 6, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  37. ^ "More than 5,000 BlueSG electric car rentals in first 3 weeks of service". The Straits Times. 2018-01-03. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  38. ^ "Paris: Autolib electric car scheme 'to end in days' after authorities pull the plug". The Local. June 19, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  39. ^ "BlueIndy electric cars will be repurposed — or crushed". Auto Blog. May 31, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  40. ^ "Bluecity service has permanently closed since 10 February 2020". Bluecity. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  41. ^ "Electric car-sharing outfit BlueSG poised to be sold". The Straits Times. February 1, 2021. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  42. ^ "BlueSG electric vehicle charging network to be acquired by TotalEnergies". Channel News Asia. July 28, 2021. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  43. ^ "La Bolloré BlueCar enfin disponible pour les particuliers (d'Ile-de-France)" [The Bolloré BlueCar finally available for individuals (Ile-de-France)] (in French). Voiture Electrique. 2012-10-07. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  44. ^ "La Bluecar sera vendue 12.000 euros" [The Bluecar will be sold for €12,000]. Le Figaro (in French). AFP, AP and Reuters Agencies. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  45. ^ a b Michaël Torregrossa (2012-12-07). "MyCar – L'Autolib' professionnel de Bolloré déployé chez Atos" [MyCar – The Autolib' cars of Bolloré deployed at Atos] (in French). Association pour l'Avenir du Véhicule Electrique Méditerranéen (AVEM). Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  46. ^ a b "Atos and Bolloré Group launch first 100% electric corporate car fleet". Atos Press Release. Reuters. 2012-12-06. Archived from the original on 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  47. ^ Jean-Marc Leclerc (2013-10-14). "Incendies d'Autolib': des actes de malveillance" [Autolib' Fire: Vandalism act]. Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 2013-10-17.
  48. ^ Laurent J. Masson (2013-10-16). "Two Autolib Electric Cars Burn Down in Paris". Retrieved 2013-10-11.

External links[edit]