Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the opening of a demonstration station to kick off the city’s BlueLA Electric Car Sharing Program, the nation’s largest EV car sharing program for disadvantaged communities. Blue Solutions, a division of the Bollore group of France, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), have partnered to deploy 100 electric cars and 200 EV chargers in the streets of L.A. starting this year.
The demonstration station opening will be used for community outreach, drive, and ride events, and raising awareness about electric vehicles, until the full service is available for public use later in the year. The program will serve portions of Westlake, Pico Union, Koreatown, Echo Park, and Downtown Los Angeles, with the objective of meeting the evolving mobility needs of Angelenos and bringing mobility options to low-income communities of L.A.
The BlueLA service will be available to anyone over 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license, who will have access to a network of shared electric vehicles 24-hours a day, seven-days a week, at self-service locations in their neighborhood. BlueLA stations will be on-street, consisting of one self-service kiosk and four to five parking spots each with an electric charger, where users will collect and drop off vehicles. BlueLA is point to point, which means there’s no need to return the car to your starting point.
The project is funded in part by a $1.7 million grant through California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health — particularly in disadvantaged communities. Majority funding is provided by Blue Solutions, a division of the Bolloré Group, which will invest over $10 million in Los Angeles as part of this program. The Bolloré Group has deployed nearly 5,000 Bluecars equipped with Blue Solutions LMP® batteries, as part of its Electric Car Sharing solution. Through its range of applications, Blue Solutions is partnering with various cities and regions to carry out “smart city” strategies throughout the world.
In 2015, The City of Los Angeles was awarded the CCI grant to pilot electric vehicle car sharing in low-income communities of Los Angeles. In 2016, Blue Solutions’ subsidiary BlueLA Car Sharing was selected to operate the service and is now working with the LADOT to implement the program in 2017. Implementation and outreach efforts are supported by the Shared Use Mobility Center and a committee of local community organizations, including the Salvadoran American Leadership Education Fund, T.R.U.S.T. South LA, and the Korean Immigrant Worker’s Alliance.