The word for fire in French is "feu." We're not sure how to correctly translate "conspiracy theory," so we'll leave that one alone for now. Two Bollore Bluecar electric vehicles that were part of Autolib's carsharing service in Paris caught fire and were destroyed earlier this week, Plug In Cars reports. The cars were part of a 2,000-car fleet for Autolib. There were no injuries.
Local authorities investigating the incident haven't determined the cause of the blaze, though that hasn't stopped either Bollore or Plug In Cars from coming up with their own theories. Bollore, says Plug In Cars, immediately laid the blame on vandalism. Plug In Cars, meanwhile, noted that the cars were parked in a fairly upscale neighborhood, and pontificated on how electric vehicles can theoretically catch fire. And while those cars wouldn't be the first plug-ins to do so - a Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in had its battery melt earlier this year, while a NHTSA investigation into a 2011 Chevrolet Volt fire concluded that plug-in vehicles were at no greater risk for fires than conventional cars - we will stress that no cause has been determined for the Paris fire.
Autolib has gained about 100,000 subscribers in Paris since launching its service there in late 2010, Reuters said in a separate article, and Bollore has since received a loan of about $100 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to expand the service. Autolib is also looking to start US operations in Indianapolis as early as next year.