Tuesday 4 February 2014

New Borne

La Nouvelle République of 28th January announced, under yet another pun-laden strapline, the installation of charging points for electric and hybrid vehicles (la voiture électrique accumule les bornes) in towns and villages across Indre et Loire. Just for once la France profonde would take the lead in a (debatable) environmental project, with 276 sets of double charging points installed by the end of the year, the first département to create such a resource.

This was not big news in the market place in Le Grand Pressigny where the work was already in progress.

Don't park your car here for fear of mighty retribution

The two parking spaces nearest to the Mairie now have a smart pair of steel bollards, a post with a sign indicating "electric vehicles only" and a wire sticking out of the ground with insulating tape on the end.

About to be borne

It's rather a cute sign, once you work it out.

Forbidden except... for something or other

The new emplacement has caused some disruption of the Thursday market, because it is right where the Limouzin Frères goat cheese stall usually is. So they have bumped along next to the fish wagon, while the Cheese Lady was tucked away behind Laurent Poupeau's butcher's van...

Waiting for a connection

When it's finished, it should look like this one, in Joué-lès-Tours... the latest in service.

Nicolas a découvert la dernière borne mise en service, à Joué-lès-Tours. - (Photo NR)

Nicolas, the young man in the picture above, has sold his old Renault 5 in favour of a Twizzy. Before, his budget was 165€ for petrol; now he pays 45€ to hire the battery. But he reckons that as long as the availability of charging points is inadequate, the market for electric vehicles will never take off. He is using a badge (free from le Syndicat intercommunal d'énergie d'Indre-et-Loire (Sieil)) which is managing the roll-out. The communes pay 20% of the 12,000€ cost (not including tax) of the installation. Meanwhile, during the hour it takes to charge the Twizzy's battery, Nicolas can take a stroll around the village, have a coffee, do a bit of shopping... la bonne bouffe for somebody!

The first person to spot someone using one of our charging points wins a jar of marmalade.


GaynorB said...

I agree with Nicholas about the availability of charging points being the tipping point. I wonder whether anyone will monitor the usage.

Also the economics of electric vehicles needs to be right otherwise it will always be a niche market. Tim isn't yet convinced by the 'save the planet' credentials, although they are relatively simple.

Where the charging point will be in LP-P? By the church?

Tim said...

Gaynor - I'm sure the Sieil organisation will monitor the use of the badges (note the new verb - badger, to badge). We'll go over to LP-P in the next few days to see if there's anything happening. P.

Jean said...

I can't see it taking off somehow, and people don't like being told they can't park where they used to!

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Love the sign, not sure about the increased availability of charging points for Electric vehicles. Until the battery is capable of longer distances it will, in my opinion, not be a practical proposition. I looked at one in Loches (Renault) and its range was 100K on a full charge...

Tim said...

I've just spotted Pauline's caption on the "borne" sign....
the logo looks just like the Electrolux vacuum cleaner.