Indy’s EV Car Share is Shutting Down – What Happens to the Charging Stations?

BlueIndy EV charging stations on curb
Curbside EV charging stations in Indianapolis – photo: @Lanny

BlueIndy Electric Car Sharing Service Ends May 21, 2020

Indianapolis electric car sharing service BlueIndy will be closing effective May 21, 2020. The company had big plans when it launched in September, 2015 with the enthusiastic backing of then Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. BlueIndy’s parent company, Bollore, invested $41 million in the venture. The city of Indianapolis contributed $6 million and Indianapolis Power and Light invested $3 million.

BlueIndy in announcing its closure said the service did not “reach the level of activity required to be economically viable.” A report by Indianapolis WTTV News based on a public records request with the city said that BlueIndy had an operating deficit of over $22 million in 2017.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a statement,

“Over the coming months, we will work with neighbors, corporate partners, and personal mobility advocates to explore whether financially-sustainable options exist to put the electric charging infrastructure to use. While today’s announcement is unfortunate for those who have embraced Blue Indy as a transportation option, we remain steadfast in our commitment to access and equity in transportation and improved connectivity for all Marion County residents.”

What Will Happen to the BlueIndy Charging Stations?

The question now is what will happen to the EV charging stations that were built to support the BlueIndy service. There are as many as 92 BlueIndy charging stations located across the city. I saw some of them when I was in Indianapolis in September. The ones I saw were in a group of four curb-side pillar-shaped units at spots reserved exclusively for the BlueIndy cars with signs warning violators of being towed.

It would be a shame if the city and Indianapolis Power and Light cannot figure out a way to keep at least some of the charging stations for use by the public.


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