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Monday, October 10, 2011

Autolib! (Don't worry, I don't know what that means either)

     I was reading a green energy blog (check it out: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/), and one post led me to an interesting site. The website (http://www.autolib.fr/) is entirely in French, and my Google Translate wasn't working properly; so unfortunately, I wasn't able to read it (if anyone speaks French, I'd be interested to know what it says). 
     Even though I wasn't able to read anything, I watched a video on the site that is pretty clear, and I read what blogger David Jolly wrote explaining the program. Basically, France is implementing a new car rental program that enables people to rent electric cars. Jolly writes, "The city says the goal is to reduce car ownership, traffic and tailpipe emissions, improving residents’ quality of life." This program follows a similar project that they did several years ago: Velib. The idea of Velib was to provide bicycles to decrease the number of people in vehicles and thus reduce pollution. 
    I think it's pretty neat that France is putting an effort into taking care of our environment. And, now I'm going to brag a little bit... UT is doing something similar! Recently, UT students have had the privilege to test out electric bikes. A station is set up in Presidential Courtyard (where many freshmen live) where the bikes can be picked up and later returned to re-charge. This program is the first of its kind in the nation according to WBIR. Now, if only it would catch on!

Read more about the bikes and watch an interview of the project initiator: http://www.utk.edu/tntoday/2011/09/06/wbirtv-ut-readies-electric-bike-sharing-program/

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