French firm fuels Indy's electric car revolution

The Bolloré Group will invest an estimated $35 million to establish BlueIndy, which will be the largest all-electric car sharing service in the Americas. A driver's license and credit card is all that is needed for membership. Final fees have yet to be determined. In Paris, monthly fees are about $13 and a 20-minute trip averages about $4.50.

By Seth Morin

A consumer agency is seeking public input on a plan to have customers of Indianapolis Power and Light subsidize a city electric car-sharing initiative.

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor is inviting consumer comments on IPL’s request for a $16 million rate increase to pay for start-up costs for BlueIndy.

Consumers can comment by:

Speaking at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s public field hearing on Aug. 13.

Sending written comments to the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor in advance of the public field hearing.

The Aug. 13 public hearing will be at 6 p.m. at Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School Auditorium, 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. in Indianapolis.

The Office of Utility Consumer Council will conduct an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m., immediately before the field hearing.

Commissioners are not allowed to answer questions during the field hearing. However, staff will be available before, during and after the hearing.

The car-sharing program would be developed by the city of Indianapolis and BlueIndy to offer cars for public use at stands with charging stations at more than 200 sites in Marion County.

IPL estimates the proposal would raise an average residential customer’s bill by 44 cents per month per 1,000 kilowatt hours.

The increase would cover an estimated $3.7 million in unfunded program costs for providing electric line extensions to the charging sites and about $12.3 million for installing BlueIndy charging stations and related equipment, according to the utility consumer counselor.

The OUCC — the agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Regulatory Commission — filed testimony in the case on June 20.

In its testimony, the council expresses support for the BlueIndy project but oppose the requested rate increase on various grounds.

Consumers who are unable to attend the field hearing but wish to submit written comments may do so via the Office of Utility Consumer Council’s website at, or by mail, email, or fax:

Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204


Fax: (317) 232-5923

Written comments received before the hearing will be filed with the commission and included in the case’s formal record.

Comments need to include the consumer’s name, mailing address, and a reference to “IURC Cause No. 44478.”

Seth Morin is a reporter for, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.