City of Tel Aviv May Use Renault Twizy In Public EV Rental Program

The city of Tel Aviv announced yesterday that it is considering a short-term electric vehicle (EV) rental program modeled after its successful short-term bicycle rental program.

One vehicle the city is pegging as a possible candidate is Renault’s Twizy. The pint-size two-seater is suitable for short-distance, city driving, making it an attractive option to city officials.

However, the EV rental project will likely be small in scale compared to the bicycle rentals. The city will offer only several dozen cars for rent, or at most a few hundred, according to Israeli newspaperHaaretz. The city is also weighing the option of electric scooters.

Tel Aviv Municipality Director General Menahem Leibe told Haaretz that for now the idea is to limit the rental period to just 20 or 30 minutes, with fines that kick in if the time limit is exceeded.

Ido Shamir, director of the Tel Aviv-Yafo Economic Development Authority, said car-sharing plans are attractive mainly to people who travel infrequently, “such as families that already have one car,” adding, “It reduces the number of vehicles and air pollution and frees up parking spaces.”

Tel Aviv is looking at the EV sharing program in Paris. That program is a joint venture between Paris and finance company Bollore. Users there can subscribe on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. A one-year subscription costs 144 euros ($188), and each half-hour of use costs 5 euros ($6.50). The Paris program currently uses upwards of 1,800 EVs, with roughly 1,100 charging stations in the city.

“The moment you decide to give up your car we all benefit,” Leibe said. “If we reach a situation where families own one car instead of two we will have succeeded. Ultimately, Tel Aviv is reinventing itself.”