Three small Citroën Amis with a characteristic appearance have recently been parked in front of the reception hall of the Solidarauto solidarity garage in Joué-lès-Tours (Indre-et-Loire). These brand new license-free electric carts are rented – for €5 per day – to people in very precarious situations who need a vehicle to find a job.
“It’s an alternative to scooters and electric bikes to meet the demand from people who don’t have a license,” explains Guillaume Florenson, director of this solidarity garage which has a fleet of 120 cars, scooters and electric bikes, rented to people who are unable to take out a microcredit. The garage also offers the most “solvent” used vehicles from donations and sold at an average price of €3,000.
Since its creation in 2017 by Secours catholique, this solidarity garage has opened a repair workshop, a driving school and absorbed the activity of Mobilité Emploi 37, an association specializing in supporting the mobility of the most precarious, such as Guillaume Florenson would like to strengthen in the years to come.
Its teams currently help 350 people – 70% women, often raising children alone – whose average family quotient does not exceed €450 per month. The car often remains for these people an essential tool, “which can quickly become a poisoned chalice”, explains the man who is also vice-president of Mob’In France, a network of 300 solidarity mobility associations. This is why beneficiaries living in the urban fabric are more oriented towards soft mobility (bicycles, scooters, etc.) and public transport.
Excluded from employment for several years, Anaïs
has herself decided to sell her old Twingo once she has completed her skills assessment, “as much out of ecological conviction as for economic reasons”, she explains. This independent graphic designer, beneficiary of the AAH (allowance for disabled adults) and volunteer with Secours catholique, would like to find work close to her home, accessible by public transport, on foot or by bike.
Social leasing, a non-subject
The electric car is not yet part of the “bouquet of mobility solutions” offered by the solidarity garage. The government plan for a social leasing (long-term rental) offer at €100 per month is a “non-issue for our beneficiaries, who cannot afford it anyway,” says Guillaume Florenson. On the other hand, within a few years we will have electric vehicles on sale. Problem: if the practice of leasing becomes the majority, individuals will no longer buy cars but will rent them, so they will no longer be able to give them to us. »
Until then, Solidarauto will test the rental of small electric models. “It’s not yet won. The question of recharging will arise for our beneficiaries, the majority of whom live in apartments,” he warns.
The government’s idea of social leasing seems more aimed at employees with stable employment. With a monthly salary of €1,800, stifled by the price of gasoline and food inflation, Raphaël Carpentier, a warehouse worker in a supermarket, is no longer able to “project himself into life”.