Can Indianapolis Save Its Blue Indy Electric Car Sharing Service?

With a previously predicted release of spring 2014, Indianapolis’ BlueIndy electric car sharing service is now in need of $13 million in order to finally get its vehicles on the road.

The program which would be the largest in the country has encountered a multitude of problems in attempts to launch this service throughout Indianapolis, now it’s a question of whether or not it will even take place at all.

Issues began in February when the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission rejected the city’s proposal to raise electric rates in order for the Indianapolis Power & Light Co. to be able to afford 250 EV charging stations.

The IURC’s reasoning was that charging everyone for a service that only a select number would use is ultimately unfair.

Kerwin Olson, the deputy director of the Citizens Action Coalition, said that BlueIndy not wanting to toss in the $13 million itself shows its business plan may not be impeccable.

SEE ALSO: BlueIndy Car Sharing Poised To Bring 500 EVs To Indianapolis

Despite all of this, David Rosenberg, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, still says BlueIndy is a “top priority” for the city.

The rental service itself would cost $15 dollars per hour, and users would only be charged the time the vehicle is being driven, and stopping once plugged back into the charging unit.

The city hopes a service like this would attract students, young professionals and the retired who don’t own cars but would still like the option to rent one should they need one.

For now though, five BlueIndy vehicles remain at their charging stations on Washington Street in Indianapolis, awaiting a solution from any party in order to commence.

INDYSTAR