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Peugeot, Bollore plug in to build electric cars

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 19 June 2015

FRENCH car maker PSA Peugeot-Citroen is teaming up with Bollore SA to jointly produce and sell electric cars, as well as promote car-sharing schemes worldwide.

PSA Peugeot-Citroen will manufacture Bollore’s Bluesummer convertible, four-door electric car at its Rennes factory in western France and also sell it in their showrooms, the companies said on Wednesday.

Production will begin in September, with a maximum of 3,500 vehicles to be made per year.

The companies will also seek to promote car-sharing schemes, first in Europe and then by creating a worldwide joint venture. These would use electric vehicles and low-emission traditional vehicles.

The deal with Peugeot complements one signed by Bollore in September 2014 with Renault to produce the Bluecar model at a plant in Dieppe, northern France, Reuters said.

Manufacturing started this month, replacing earlier production in the Italian city of Turin at car designer Pininfarina.

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Bollore and Renault will also work together to carry out feasibility studies on a new model of electric car, something absent from the Peugeot deal.

Bollore’s Bluecar has become a common sight in Paris under the “Autolib” self-service electric car hire programme, and similar systems have been launched in Lyon, Bordeaux, London and Indianapolis.

Vincent Bollore, the 63-year old Breton billionaire (above), created the Bluecar to prove the efficacy of his group’s solid-state LMP batteries. But other players in the auto industry are betting on a different technology known as lithium ion batteries.

A spokesman for Bollore said the group could seek to sign partnerships with additional car makers outside France to expand production and availability of its electric cars.