Paris is to launch the largest electric car hire scheme in the world this autumn. Details have been released of the Autolib scheme, available by subscription only, which will have 3,000 vehicles available to hire at 1,000 stations across the city and suburbs.

The four-seater electric cars, all fitted with GPS, USB point and radio and with a 250km range in the city, will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to figures from the Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme (APUR) 25 per cent of Parisians who currently own a car would be prepared to give it up because of costs and the lack of frequency with which they use them.

Subscriptions range from a