French automaker Renault has signed a deal with conglomerate Bollore to build three-seat versions of the four-seat “Bluecars” used by the Autolib car-sharing system, reports Reuters. This arrangement will likely help Bolloré with its expansion ambitions which include the cities of London and Indianapolis.
The current crop of Bluecars are built in Italy by Pininfarina and are powered by a 30 kWh lithium-polymer battery that gives the lightweight hatchback an estimated driving range of 160 miles. Though the electric motor is rated at just 67 horsepower, the Bluecar can still reach 81 MPH (eventually) due to an extremely low curb weight of just 2,359-lbs. The battery itself weighs in at just 300-lbs, and the traditional Bluecar seats four.
Renault, however, has been tasked with building three-seat versions at its Dieppe plant in northwest France, and will take 30% ownership of the venture, with Bolloré taking the other 70%. Autolib rental systems using the Bluecars currently operate in Paris, Lyons, and Bordeaux, and Bolloré has set its eyes on overseas market.
It’s probably wise to not try and squeeze four average MidWesterners into a tiny French electric car, y’know?