Sometimes industry leaders end up taking the slings and arrows.
Just ask the Blue Solutions unit of the French Bollore Group conglomerate. The company has been a global leader in launching large-scale electric-car-sharing services in cities including Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon in France, and in Indianapolis.
At the Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition in Montreal in June, Jean-Luc Monfort, general manager of Blue Solutions Canada Inc., was asked to name some of the challenges Blue Solutions had faced starting the services. He listed one that was a surprise -- vandalism.
"You may have heard of some demonstrations recently in Paris," said Monfort, referring to labor demonstrations in the city, including one in mid-June. "Very often, their way to demonstrate is to burn our cars. All together, we have had more than 45 cars burned."
As a result, no insurance company will insure the fleet, forcing the company to self-insure its Paris fleet of more than 3,000 cars, he said.
"Very fortunately," he said, no vandalism has happened to Blue Solutions' first U.S. car-sharing service, BlueIndy in Indianapolis.