An electric car-sharing program has failed miserably.
Back in 2015, the city of Indianapolis, Indiana initiated an electric vehicle sharing program called BlueIndy, but now the entire operation has been shut down because of slow business. About 3,000 people signed up for the program over the past five years but with a city population of over 875,000, it's understandable why it's coming to an end.
The IndyStar claims the project cost a grand total of $50 million. The city forked over $6 million while the Indianapolis Power & Light Company contributed $3.7 million with the installation of the underground wiring for the charging stations. A total of 280 cars were part of the fleet and over 90 charging stations were set up. It was an ambitious program no doubt, but it simply failed to live up to expectations. So, what's to be done with the electric cars and the chargers?
According to local news affiliate WTHR, the answer is towing the cars to the scrapyard.
"Some of the cars with body damage are indeed being scrapped after the LMP batteries and key components/parts have been removed and stored," said James Delgado, vice president of Blue Systems.
Non-damaged vehicles have been placed in storage before being shipped to Los Angeles for that city's own EV car-sharing program. The cars' LMP batteries are being repurposed for other energy storage projects the company has in other locations. But the cars' shells remain and have since been stacked on top of each other. No decision has been made about what to do with the charging stations.
City councilor member Zach Adamson admitted to having "mixed emotions" about the program's end. Although he supports, in principle, green programs like car sharing, he "had major concerns and questions over [BlueIndy's] viability as a company as well as the investment the city had put into it." Others, however, are glad to see the EVs gone for good. Several small business owners never liked them because they took up the few parking spots available downtown.
Sometimes riding a bicycle or using a parking garage and walking the rest of the way remains the most convenient solution.