Los Angeles officials today cut the ribbon on a 5-car demonstration site as part of the kick-off for “BlueLA,” a first-of-its-kind pilot program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by introducing electric carsharing fleets into disadvantaged communities.

BlueLA – which will scale to 100 electric vehicles (EVs) and 200 charge points at 40 stations by year’s end – is expected to be the world’s largest carsharing program specifically targeted to disadvantaged neighborhoods.

“Los Angeles is becoming a global leader in innovative mobility solutions that serve the public good,” said Sharon Feigon, executive director of the Shared-Use Mobility Center, the national nonprofit organization serving as the technical assistance lead on the project. “If the region maintains its current levels of energy, resources and commitment, we see no reason that BlueLA can’t grow to the level of Paris’s EV carshare program, which now has more than 4,000 vehicles and 130,000 active users.”

A wide range of public sector leaders gathered at the project’s demo site today near MacArthur Park to express their support, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, California State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) General Manager Seleta Reynolds, and California Air Resources Board (CARB) Member Hector De La Torre.

Representatives from the project’s carshare operator Bolloré Group also unveiled several program specifics at today’s event, including details related to pricing and membership. According to Bolloré Group:

  • Membership will range from $0 to $10 per month, with membership fees waived for early adopters. Members are eligible to receive income-based discounts of up to 80 percent of the full $10 per month. Nonmembers will be able to reserve cars for one-time use at higher rates.
  • Member usage fees will be $.20 per minute, with qualified low-income members paying $0.15 per minute (a 25 percent discount). All prices include the cost of insurance and parking.
  • Users can park BlueLA vehicles in any legal space while in use, but will need to plug their vehicle back into one of the system’s stations to officially end their trip.
  • Residents can currently pre-register for membership on the BlueLA.com website. Full registration will open later this summer.

Residents can also visit BlueLA.com for more information and to suggest and vote on proposed station locations. A project steering committee – which includes the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF), and TRUST South LA – is also engaging in grassroots outreach to ensure that community members have a voice in the program’s design and rollout.

The BlueLA project is supported by $1.67 million in grant funds from the California Air Resources Board and $1.82 million in EV infrastructure rebates, fee waivers and in-kind support from the City. Bolloré Group – which has been operating electric carsharing in Paris since 2011 and launched the Blueindy EV carshare program in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2015 – will initially invest at least $10 million in the program’s fleet and charging stations.

Altogether, the two-year pilot is expected to recruit a minimum of 7,000 new carsharing users, who in turn are expected to sell or avoid purchasing 1,000 private vehicles, reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 2,150 metric tons of CO2.