Sustainable America Blog

Indianapolis to Launch Largest All-Electric Car Share Service in U.S.

Photo Credit: francisco.j.gonzalez via Compfight cc

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.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.

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