Are you a fan of electric vehicles who doesn’t want to own your own car?
Get thee to Indy.
A company that operates electric-vehicle sharing programs in France is looking to expand, and its executives have settled on Indianapolis for their first American foray. Bolloré Group’s $35 million plan will provide 500 shared cars and 1,200 charging stations at 200 locations throughout Indiana’s capital. The company’s inaugural American initiative will be modeled on its French Autolib program, with sharing slated to begin next year.
A press release describes the program:
The program is based around short one-way rentals, unlike some other US models which require the user to return to the vehicle where they rented it. 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 on-line or at a dedicated car share kiosk, they unlock the car charger with their card, and then swipe the 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 they arrive, plug-in the vehicle and the transaction is complete. The user can then reserve another vehicle for their next trip, as needed. 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 won’t be the only city where you can drive an EV through a car-sharing program, as Greentech Media points out. Car2go’s shared Smart cars in San Diego, Calif. are all electric, and its fleet in Austin, Texas, includes some EVs too.
But if the Indy scheme comes together as envisioned, it will be the largest all-electric car-sharing program in the U.S.