BlueIndy Finalizes Deal For Electric Car Sharing Program For Indianapolis

MAY 15 2015 BY MARK KANE 5

BlueIndy Bluecar in Indianapolis

BlueIndy Bluecar in Indianapolis

BlueIndy car sharing service in Indianapolis was stuck a few months ago, as there was no agreement on financing the project.

The plan to finance the infrastructure through raising electric rates in the area did not work.

“BlueIndy has been in limbo since February, when the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission denied a request by the city to raise electric rates so that Indianapolis Power & Light Co. could pay for 200 charging stations.

The IURC said it was unfair to charge all customers for a service that only a small percentage would use.”

But Mayor Greg Ballard was still seeking a solution and found spare coins in parking meters.

The new plan is to build 12 stations with 5 charging bays each for $13 million. Half of the cost would be covered from parking meter revenues (over $6 million) and the rest by French company Bollore.

Well, there is never enough money in the city for all needs, so as one could expect we are not sure if this will pass:

“The city will pour more than $6 million from parking meter revenues to help construct charging stations and Bolloré, the company that owns the service, will pitch in another $6 million, bringing the company’s commitment to more than $40 million

But the deal has angered a council leader, who said the administration of Mayor Greg Ballard is inappropriately using targeted infrastructure dollars for a “boondoggle.”

“This is outrageous, this is the second time he’s done this,” said Public Works Committee Chairman Zach Adamson, referring to Ballard’s spending $5 million in infrastructure money on an Eastside sports and cricket complex. “How are we supposed to work with a Public Works Department that goes around the council?”

Adamson said parking meter dollars can be used only for infrastructure improvements in metered zones and said electric cars don’t count as infrastructure.

“We have a billion dollars in infrastructure needs in this city and we are spending money on this?” he said.

Adamson said his committee had already approved a list of specific projects — like curb repairs — that now, presumably, won’t get done because money is being diverted to the electric car program.

Mayoral spokeswoman Jen Pittman said because the charging stations are open to the public to charge their own electric cars, the dollars are being properly used on infrastructure. She added that the 12 charging stations are in metered zones or in areas leading into metered zones.

Council Chief Financial Officer Bart Brown said the administration seems to be legally entitled to shuffle the money but “they are stretching it.”

In theory, construction of 12 stations will begin in May or maybe June with launch of BlueIndy this summer.

Bluecars will be available for about $15 an hour, while charging points will be available for everyone for $1.50 an hour.

Here is the not yet approved list of stations:

BlueIndy Station Name, Street Address

Washington & Illinois, 107 W. Washington St.

Statehouse East, 49 N. Capitol Ave.

Ohio & Pennsylvania, 103 E. Ohio St.

City County Building, 11 N. Delaware St.

Fountain Square, 1107 E. Morris St.

Irvington, 27 S. Audubon Road

University of Indianapolis, 3996 Shelby St.

Broad Ripple & College, 731 Broad Ripple Ave.

City Market, 121 N. Delaware St.

Convention Center North, 228 W. Maryland St.

Mass Ave 2, 476 N. New Jersey St.

IUPUI, 333 University Blvd.”

Source: IndyStar

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5 Comments on "BlueIndy Finalizes Deal For Electric Car Sharing Program For Indianapolis"

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I hope this works in Indiana so that other cities can also get car sharing. Better than having to accommodate more private cars in the crowded city center.

Paul

Honestly I think Indianapolis should not go along with Boloré and choose another car sharing provider. The problem with the cars from Boloré is that their special kind of batteries need to be kept at 70 degrees Celcius. That costs a lot of electricity. So much, that if the cars are not connected to the grid, their batteries are empty within 2 days.

These cars are not environment friendly!

In Paris, where AutoLib uses the same cars, the electricity for them is highly subsidized and the reason that the program isn’t cancelled is because Bolloré – who has very good connections to the French establishment – reasons like this: the cars are mostly on the move, so it doesn’t matter much that they lose energy when they are parked. But of course that is nonsense. If you look over a full 24 hours every car is not used for probably half of the time. And sucking electricity during that time. Therefore programms with other EVs, like car2go with Smarts or the many other services, use much less energy: yes, for the drive, but not for standing still.

So please, Indianapolis, have a car sharing programm, just not with BlueIndy.

Mike I

They would also have to certify their BlueCar to FMVSS, so that would be one obstacle. There has been talk of using some other electric car that is already available in the US market.

BooHiss

Boo …. If they want to do EV charging then do that. But for ONE company ? That is the Companies responsibility not the rest of the city folks.
And $13 mill? Hmm, seems to be a ton of pocket money here. The “stations” are getting WAY cheaper. Maybe they should cut that bill way way down and just add a few chargers here and there along the city where it is easily constructed, cost less that way and then it is for ALL through out the city.

Marko

65 charging bays for 13mil?
200.000 per Bay?
Multi-standard fast charger with two bays costs 40.000 with installations and cabling. So am I Crazy or just stupid?