Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is at it again. At last month’s Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) Conference, Ballard announced that he will bring the French company Bolloré’s electric car-sharing service, already a great success in Paris, to Indianapolis.
Known as Autolib’ in Paris, the Indianapolis program will run by a similar system. According to Green Car Reports, the cars can be reserved by smartphone, then picked up using a card swiped against a reader on the windshield. Business Insider compares Autolib’s payment process to bike share programs, where users pay for a membership then pay an additional cost depending on how much they drive.
The Indianapolis program, set to launch next spring, will likely use the Ford Focus Electric or the Nissan Leaf for its fleet cars. This concept, much like Enterprise’s electric car rentals, is a great way to expose more drivers to EVs. The city’s commitment includes 500 electric vehicles and 1,200 charging stations in up to 200 locations around the city.
Next year’s EDTA Conference will be held in Indianapolis, likely due in part to Ballard’s commitment to EVs. But as we covered earlier this year, Ballard has also announced plans to convert Indianapolis’ entire city fleet to natural gas, making it the first U.S. city to aim for a total conversion to non-oil-based fuel sources. Ballard, a Republican and Marine Corps veteran, has stated that his commitment to non-oil-based transportation stems from a desire to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Sustainable America values Mayor Ballard’s leadership in this area, and we look forward to seeing Indianapolis’ EV car sharing program in action. Energy independence and innovation are key to creating a more Sustainable America.