Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced today that the city will deploy 425 pure electric or plug-in-hybrid municipal vehicles by 2016, 100 of them by the end of this year. It’s part of his administration’s goal to move Indy’s entire non-emergency fleet to alternative fuels sources by 2025.
Ballard has framed the initiative as a cost-savings move but has also emphasized national security concerns as a reason for decreasing dependence on foreign oil. He echoed that sentiment today, saying the city hasn’t before had the opportunity to make city vehicles less gasoline-dependent—
“But today is different," Ballard says. "Today we have affordable and reliable electric and hybrid vehicle options. This work is important to our security and to the future of our city. However none of this will matter if places like China and India continue to rely on oil. That’s why we must be that example for the world.”
The city will rent the cars from the company Vision Fleet, which will be responsible for the cost of refueling and maintaining the vehicles over the course of a seven year $32-million contract.
Vision Fleet CEO Michael Brylawski says he wants his company’s partnership with the city to prove governments can save money by opting for fuel efficiency.
"If you add up all the costs of owning a vehicle—not just buying at the dealer—but fueling it, maintaining it, insuring it and so on, electrified vehicles can now be cheaper, in many cases, than oil-powered vehicles," Brylawski says.
Vision Fleet will use data analytics to track how efficiently city vehicles are being used.
In addition to the 425 alternative-fuel powered cars, the city also plans to take 100 underutilized or inefficient vehicles out of service by 2016.