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Billionaire Bollore Gets Political Grief for Paris Electric Cars

  • Mayor mulls halting entrepreneur’s Autolib car-sharing service
  • Controversy adds to string of recent setbacks for Bollore
An Autolib' electric car.

An Autolib' electric car.

Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg


Seven years ago, French billionaire Vincent Bollore started one of the world’s first electric car-sharing services, deploying thousands of gray hatchbacks across Paris and drawing in more than 150,000 subscribers for jaunts around the city or shopping trips in the suburbs.

Now, amid widening losses and criticism that the vehicles are poorly maintained and dirty, Autolib has emerged as a political hot potato for Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who is considering an early termination of his contract with the city. The controversy over municipal backing of the unprofitable service is shaping up as another headache for Bollore, who has suffered a string of recent setbacks across his business empire.