The Tel Aviv municipality is considering a plan to rent out small electric vehicles on a short term basis to cut down on air pollution, clear the roads and free up parking. Building on the success of its Tel-o-Fun bike sharing program and a similar launch in Paris, the city will send out an international tender for an operator some time during 2013. Director General of the municipality Menahem Leibe announced the plan at a recent budget meeting in the city.
The car in question “won’t go too fast; it will be small and easy to get around in,” Leibe said, according to Haaretz.
“It’s urban, it’s not meant for a trip to Jerusalem.”
Although no concrete plans have been made, the city is toying with the idea of offering either small two seater vehicles like Renault’s Twizy or electric scooters that can be rented on a short term basis.
They hope that by offering such a service, many residents will forego their personal or extra vehicles, thereby de-cluttering the dense streets of Israel’s busiest seaside city.
Whilst Tel-o-Fun offers thousands of bicycles at scores of stations, the EV rental program as presently envisioned would be smaller. Rental periods would be limited to roughly half an hour and fines will be issued to those who exceed the limit.
Cars could be collected and returned at different stations.
In Paris, residents pay a yearly membership fee and then an additional fee depending on how long they keep the car. This is very similar to the bike rental system currently in placed, though some critics worry that the expense will deter those who are less affluent.
Opposition council member Sharon Malki expressed concern that investing in an EV rental program would divert funds from the public transportation sector, thereby unfairly disadvantaging regular users.