The Bolloré Group plans to invest approximately $35 million to launch an all-electric car share program in Indianapolis early next year. The system will include 500 EVs and 1,200 charging stations at 200 car-share locations.
“This program provides a great opportunity for downtown workers, residents and visitors to get around town in a car without owning one,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “This service allows a person, government or company to only pay for a car when they need and want it. They aren’t paying for fuel, insurance, maintenance and parking costs when the vehicle is not in use.”
The Indianapolis program is modeled after Bolloré’s popular Autolib’ service in Paris, which features over 1,700 electric vehicles, 4,200 charging stations and 37,000 members.
“The success of Autolib’ in Paris – based on convenience, reliability and availability – has exceeded our expectations and realized our goal of transforming habits of car ownership, reducing pollution and relieving traffic congestion,” said Vincent Bolloré, Chairman of the Bolloré Group. “As a leader in the smart grid, we support Mayor Ballard’s commitment to electric vehicles and are excited to help speed the adoption of EVs in Indiana. The dynamic environment fostered by Mayor Ballard’s administration along with the vibrant business and higher education community, and impressive downtown development projects are key factors in our selection of Indy for this first US launch.”
The program is based on short one-way rentals. Users pay a membership fee (daily, monthly, or annually) and receive an RFID card. When they wish to rent a vehicle, they reserve a car online or at a dedicated kiosk, unlock the charger with their card, and then swipe the card on the windshield, which unlocks the car. The in-car GPS allows the user to reserve a parking spot with a charging station near their destination. Once they arrive, they plug in the vehicle, and the transaction is complete. Rates for the Indianapolis service have not yet been established, but in Paris, membership costs $16 per month and a 20-minute trip costs about $4.50.
“Indianapolis is becoming a major hub for clean transportation technologies, garnering national attention, due in large part to Mayor Ballard’s leadership in promoting electric and natural gas fuel in transportation,” said Paul Mitchell, CEO of Energy Systems Network. “The fact that a company like Bolloré is choosing Indianapolis as the first US market for its innovative transportation solution shows the world is also now taking notice.”
Image: ehpien (flickr)