Indianapolis plans largest electric carshare in U.S.

Summary:A French company is investing $35 million in a carsharing system for Indianapolis.

Autolib, the all-electric carsharing service in Paris, has 1,700 electric cars, 4,200 charging stations, and 37,000 members. Now Bolloré Group, the French company behind Autolib, wants to replicate the successful carsharing program in the United States.

Bolloré Group announced this week that it plans to invest $35 million to launch an all-electric carsharing service in Indianapolis starting next year. The proposed system will have 500 electric vehicles and 1,200 charging stations at 200 locations. According to Bolloré Group, the system, when complete, will be the largest electric carsharing program in the United States.

"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," said Vincent Bolloré, Chairman of the Bolloré Group, in a statement.

"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 U.S. launch."

Like many carsharing services before it, members will pay a membership fee and then pay each time they use one of the cars. But unlike some services, customers aren't required to return the vehicle to the same location where it was rented. Also, in addition to individual memberships, businesses will be able purchase corporate memberships to reduce their vehicle fleets.

The program also won't just benefit the carless downtown inhabitants and students. The charging stations will be open to private EV owners.

And there was more good news out of Indianapolis in the transportation alternatives department. The city is in negotiations with B-cycle, the operator of 16 bikeshare systems in the U.S, to launch a $1.5 million, 300-bike bikesharing system next year.

Photo: Flickr/mariordo59

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter.

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