Electric cars are pulling into Indianapolis
A new fleet of cars is about to hit the streets of Indianapolis.
The small, four-seater cars with 'Blue Indy' in big bold letters on the side are part of the city's new electric car share program.
It's a $35 million investment by Paris-based Bollore that will allow 'members' to swipe a card at one of 25 stations around the city and 'borrow' a car to get from one destination to another.
"You only pay for the part that you use," said Marc Lotter, spokesman for Mayor Greg Ballard.
"As soon as you plug into your destination your rental stops and you don't have to worry about filling it up with gas because it's all electric. You don't have to worry about returning it where you first picked it up," said Lotter.
The city expects to have 125 cars in its fleet by the end of the year. They anticipate students, downtown residents and businesses to be the biggest users of the service.
"People who don't want to own a second car or who can't afford a car can use one of these, take it to the store, take it to an appointment," said Lotter, explaining who might use the service.
The dome-like kiosks where the cars are rented have already started popping up.
The one at Washington and Meridian Streets downtown caught the attention of Andrea Wuertz, who is in the process of renovating a condo in the area.
"This is awesome," Wuertz said. "Right now we have two cars and I can see us going down to one vehicle and use this to go to the grocery store on days it's raining and use the other vehicle that's parked in a parking garage a couple blocks away on long trips."
When the fleet is in place by the end of the year, it will be the largest electric car share system in the country. The electric car stations may be used by the general public for personal electric vehicles.
No fee rate has been announced yet for the Blue Indy cars, but city officials say the rates in Paris are about $13 a month for membership and average $4 for a 15-minute rental.
The announcement comes as the Electric Drive Transportation Association Convention starts in Indianapolis.
It's the first time that convention has located outside Washington, DC.