While things are up and running in downtown Indy today, BlueIndy is only at 10 percent of its planned operating capacity. Fifty BlueCars are now available and there are 125 parking spaces scattered around downtown (and out to the university and airport, among other places). BlueIndy plans to put 500 EVs into operation, with more parking spaces, obviously. Each time you rent a car, you pay for the first 20 minutes (the rate depends on your type of membership) and then there's a per-minute charge if you keep the car longer than that. Since Bollore operates similar car sharing services in Paris, Bordeaux, and Lyon, France, it has learned that 20 minutes is the expected average time people rent these cars for.
As we learned when we visited Indianapolis recently, this could be the first of many BlueCity car sharing projects set up across the US. In other words, keep a close eye on whether this is a success or not.
Indianapolis Car Sharing Service Launches Convenient Point-to-Point Transit
(INDIANAPOLIS) Marion County residents and visitors can now make short point-to-point trips throughout Indianapolis without spending a penny on gas. BlueIndy today put into service the first 50 of an eventual 500 electric vehicles that provide convenient, cleaner transportation with the swipe of a membership card.
This is the first-of-its-kind electric car sharing service in the U.S. by the Bolloré Group of France, which already operates car sharing services in several other cities, including the world's largest EV sharing service: Autolib', in Paris.
"Indianapolis is the perfect home for our first venture into the American market", said Cédric Bolloré, Vice President for Development. "Indy has a vibrant downtown, thriving neighborhoods, and a population that demands innovation and cleaner alternatives to car ownership, and transit options."
The Bluecars run on Lithium Metal Polymer (LMP) batteries developed by Bolloré and have a range of 120 miles between charges. They create zero emissions, and integrate innovative technology to make their use convenient, safe and simple.
"Indianapolis is home to a growing tech sector, arts and cultural attractions, first rate medical and educational institutions, and thriving neighborhoods", said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. "I am delighted to welcome BlueIndy as a clean, affordable transit option to help connect visitors and residents with all that Indy has to offer."
As of today, 125 parking spaces are equipped with charge points. Reserved parking spots mean no need to look for parking. As BlueIndy builds out across the city, customers will be able to take advantage of up to 1,000 parking spaces in 200 BlueIndy stations outfitted with charging infrastructure and easy-to-use customer kiosks. With a membership card in hand, drivers will simply swipe their card across the BlueIndy car windshield. The car will automatically unlock and welcome the driver back to BlueIndy with their own favorite radio stations stored from previous trips. The standard BlueIndy membership costs $9.99 per month. Members pay four dollars for the first 20 minutes they use the car, and 20 cents for each minute thereafter. Membership can be obtained via BlueIndy's website (www.blue-indy.com) or at BlueIndy enrollment kiosks. A BlueIndy smartphone app is also available. Memberships may be purchased for a day, a week, a month, or a year.
"Based on our experience in Paris, Bordeaux, and Lyon, we expect the average car sharing transaction to be about 20 minutes", said Bolloré. "Indianapolis will benefit from technology and processes proven in Paris for the last four years. Now Indy will be the model for North America."
BlueIndy expects to provide up to 100 full-time jobs through the end of 2016, as skilled union trades workers install electrical and telecom infrastructure in dozens of neighborhoods and commercial centers. An additional 100 full-time employees will work for BlueIndy in time as ambassadors, dispatchers, and service technicians.
BlueIndy's car sharing service is a perfect complement to the city's long-term public transit strategy, which includes expansion of IndyGo and bicycle lanes. BlueIndy will also help attract professional talent to the city's employer base, and help central Indiana move more quickly away from fossil fuels as an energy source for public transportation.
About BlueIndy LLC
BlueIndy LLC is the Indiana affiliate of the Bolloré Group, a multinational firm founded in 1822 and one of the 500 largest companies in the world (www.bollore.com). Bolloré Group's core business lines include transportation and logistics, communication and media, as well as electricity storage and solutions through its Blue Solutions division.