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Los Angeles Launches Electric Carsharing Program

June 13, 2017

BlueLA Electric Car Sharing Program has launched in Los Angeles. Photo via Wikimedia/BDS2006 (talk)
BlueLA Electric Car Sharing Program has launched in Los Angeles. Photo via Wikimedia/BDS2006 (talk)

A new carshare program will help Los Angeles meet its clean air goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide residents of some of its most disadvantaged communities with self-service access to electric vehicles.   

On June 9, Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the BlueLA Electric Car Sharing Program alongside California State leader Kevin de Leon, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and representatives from Blue Solutions — a division of the Bolloré Group — which has invested more than $10 million to bring its EV carshare program to Los Angeles. 

“We have to put sustainability at the center of everything we do in Los Angeles — and putting more drivers in electric vehicles is good way to clean our air,” said Garcetti. “The BlueLA EV carshare program puts California’s cap and trade dollars to work to not only help meet the Paris Climate Agreement goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the EV goals in my Sustainable City pLAn, it brings new transportation options to neighborhoods that need them.”   

BlueLA’s first demonstration station near the corner of 7th and Bonnie Brae streets in Pico Union is now open. 

BlueLA aims to meet Angelenos’ mobility needs in a sustainable way while bringing more transportation options to low-income communities. The pilot program will serve portions of Westlake, Pico Union, Koreatown, Echo Park, and Downtown Los Angeles.

"I was proud to author SB 1275, which secured the funding necessary to make programs like this a reality,” said California Senate Leader Kevin de Leon. “Through the Charge Ahead California Initiative, we have expanded access to electric vehicles for all Californians, because if we are going to continue reducing harmful pollutants, electric vehicles can’t just be driven by the wealthy."

The program is funded in part by a $1.7 million grant through California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health.   

“This smart investment of cap-and-trade proceeds delivers on the promise of California’s approach to fighting climate change,” said Hector De La Torre, a board member of California Air Resources. “In the city that defined American car culture, this program is helping write a new chapter by bringing electric cars directly into neighborhoods that need them the most, and providing families with needed zero-emission ‘last-mile’ transportation that cuts greenhouse gases and helps fight smog.”   

In 2015, Los Angeles won a CCI grant to pilot electric vehicle carsharing in low-income communities. Blue Solutions’ subsidiary, BlueLA Carsharing is working with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to bring the program online this year.

“Los Angeles, as the United States’ second largest city, is a wonderful showcase for our carsharing service, and we aim to support the city’s environmental leadership with a commitment to affordability and equal access, allowing electric mobility to reach underserved communities,” said Marie Bolloré, general director of Blue Solutions Electric Mobility. “BlueLA is an exciting new challenge for the Bolloré Group and also an opportunity to demonstrate the reliability of our unique LMP battery, a pioneering Bolloré technology powering our car sharing vehicles around the world.”  

Until the full service is available for public use later in the year, the Pico Union station will be used for community outreach, drive and ride events, and efforts to raise awareness about electric vehicles. Ultimately, the service will bring 100 electric cars and 200 chargers to self-service stations across the city. 

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