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Ballard still hopeful for electric car sharing plan

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard hasn’t given up on the electric car sharing plan for Indianapolis.

He wants to make it work – even though state regulators objected to part of the plan to pay for it.

The Blue Indy program would let you rent an electric car, drive it where you need to go and drop it off.

Last week, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission said no to what would have added 28 cents a month to customers of Indianapolis Power and Light. That would have helped pay for charging stations around the city.

Ballard says having such a program would attract people and business to Indianapolis. He is “disappointed” the IURC “didn’t see the public benefit of all this.”

“It doesn’t send a good signal to the rest of the multi-national, multi-billionaire companies around the world that Indianapolis or Indiana is a good place to do business, does it,” Ballard told 24-Hour News 8.

Indianapolis and Bolloré Group unveiled the electric car sharing concept in May of 2014. Ballard believes the idea has tremendous appeal to a growing number of people. He said, these days, millennials and seniors increasingly don’t want to own cars.

Ballard is proud of the notoriety Blue Indy attracted to Indianapolis.

“This is huge,” he said. “This is in Paris, in London, and we’re the North American entry point. If you do something like Blue Indy, that is so innovative and so ahead of everybody else in the country, you get a lot of reputation for that. I mean you get a lot of publicity. Good publicity – like, hey, that city’s really out there. They understand the future,” Ballard said.

The mayor called the IURC ruling “a setback.”

It can be appealed. Program promoters are considering their options, now. Ballard seems confident Blue Indy has a future.

“We’re all committed to moving forward together, trying to figure this thing out together,” he said.