All-electric car share program to launch in Indy 

click to enlarge People gather around to learn about future Indianapolis transportation. - AISTE MANFREDINI
  • People gather around to learn about future Indianapolis transportation.
  • Aiste Manfredini


Bolloré Group, which is known for its electric car-sharing program in Paris, on Monday announced its plans to expand its company into the U.S. - beginning with a $35 million investment in Indianapolis.

The local program is set to have vehicles on the road by next year.

"We are delighted to announce the launch of the Indianapolis service," Vincent Bolloré, the company chair, said in a press release. "The success of the 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 congestions."

The yet-to-be-named Indianapolis car share program is modeled after Bolloré's popular Autolib' service in Paris which feature over 1,800 electric vehicles, 4,200 charging stations, and 37,000 members. As in Paris, the Indianapolis service is aimed at providing new mobility options to the public. It will also allow Indianapolis to become one of the most "electrified" cities in the U.S. with a dense network of charging stations available to private EV owners.

"This program provides a great opportunity for downtown workers, residents and visitors to get around town in a car without owning one," Mayor Ballard, said in a press release. "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 program is based around short one-way rentals; users pay a membership fee (daily, monthly, or annually) and receive an RFID card.

When users wish to rent a vehicle: they reserve a car online or at a dedicated car share kiosk, unlock the car charger with a kiosk card, and finally, swipe that card on the windshield, which unlocks the car and allows them to drive off. The in-car GPS allows the user to reserve a parking spot with a charging station near their destination.

Once arrived, users plug-in the vehicle and the transaction is complete. The user can then reserve another vehicle for their next trip, as needed.

click to enlarge People observe an example electric cars(ev)s that are coming to Indianapolis - AISTE MANFREDINI
  • People observe an example electric cars(ev)s that are coming to Indianapolis
  • Aiste Manfredini
The City of Indianapolis and many other governmental and business organizations are looking at such membership to help reduce the size of their owned vehicle fleets.

"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 EV's in Indiana," Bolloré said. The dynamic environment fostered by Mayor Ballard's administrations 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 U.S. launch."

Bolloré will begin hiring local management and marketing teams in the next few months. The service is aimed to be a public service and Bolloré will work closely with the city in the planning phase and continue discussions with key transportation, neighborhood, business and tourism groups to identify car share locations and other service aspects.

"Economically it's a win-win; it's saving energy, it's pro world and it's also going to increase the visitors that stay, and give them more options to zip around town," Chris Gahl, Visit Indy's vice president of marketing, said in a press release.

The program will feature 500 electric vehicles and 1,200 charging stations at 200 car-share locations. The rates for the Indianapolis service have not yet been established, but in Paris, membership costs $16 per month and a 20minute 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," Paul Mitchell, president and chief executive of Energy Systems Network, said in a press release. "The fact that a company like Bolloré is choosing Indianapolis as the first US market for its innovative transportation solution show the world is also now taking notice."

The City of Indianapolis and many other governmental and business organizations are looking into corporate memberships in order to reduce the size of their vehicle fleet. Therefore, the care share program will be available to individual members and government/corporate users.

"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 EV's in Indiana. The dynamic environment fostered by Mayor Ballard's administrations 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 U.S. launch," said Bolloré.

Bolloré will begin hiring local management and marketing teams in the next few months. The service is aimed to be a public service and Bolloré will work closely with the city in the planning phase and continue discussions with key transportation, neighborhood, business and tourism groups to identify car share locations and other service aspects.

"Economically it's a win-win; it's saving energy, it's pro world and it's also going to increase the visitors that stay, and give them more options to zip around town," Visit Indy's Vice President of Marketing, Chris Gahl, said in a press release.

The program will feature 500 electric vehicles and 1,200 charging stations at 200 car-share locations. The 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," President/CEO of Energy Systems Network, Paul Mitchell, said in a press release. "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."

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