GOP: Take down BlueIndy car-charging stations, restore parking spaces

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some city officials are looking for ways to continue using 200 car-charging stations left over from the shuttered BlueIndy project.

One proposal floated at the latest Indianapolis City-County Council meeting was to allow pop-up grocers to use the parking spaces next to the car-charging stations.

Blue Indy took some of the best parking spots in the city. City-County Council Republicans want the charging stations removed and the parking spots returned to public.

William Stark, an Indianapolis resident, said, “I thought BlueIndy was a good idea, just not very well done. I think some of the spots should remain charging for the general public.”

Stark told News 8 that he was a regular user of BlueIndy even toward the end of the project when the cars were dirty and unkempt. He would like to see the spots reverted back to parking, preserve the electrical infrastructure already in place “and maybe have the option of bringing them back at a future date if electric cars become more popular again.”

Indianapolis government and Indianapolis Power & Light Co. invested millions in the electrical infrastructure for BlueIndy. News 8 is told the cost to install these charging stations was from $50,000-100,000. But, the investment into the electric-car-sharing program never paid off. BlueIndy was supposed to remove the existing charging stations unless the city wanted to buy all of them.

City-County Council member Brian Mowery, a Republican who has represented District 25 in Franklin Township since 2016, says the city needs to cut its losses and move on. “And to even consider saying we are going to buy these is crazy. I don’t know what the logic is behind that, to try and justify purchasing these.”

Mowery told News 8 the city is attempting to negotiate a deal to buy some, not all of the stations, and have the rest removed.

The Republican councilor said, “The technology above ground is now obsolete. As we all know, technology is ever-evolving. To have technology that is 6 or 7 years old, you wonder is this adequate enough for what they want to do now. Further, how much is this going to cost us?”

Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office is asking for ways to repurpose the charging stations.