November 30, 2015

The Lone Bidder, Vision Fleet Wins Back Contract To Supply Electric Cars To Indy

(File photo) - Christopher Ayers/WFYI

(File photo)

Christopher Ayers/WFYI

INDIANAPOLIS -- After a lawsuit and months-long bidding process, the same company will continue to supply Indianapolis city departments with electric vehicles. 

Vision Fleet from California ended up being the only company that submitted a bid to the public works department.

The mayor’s office had issued a contract directly to Vision Fleet for 425 electric cars in October 2014. The Indy City-County Council didn’t like that so it sued the mayor’s office this summer. As a result, Vision Fleet’s current deal was frozen at the 212 electric cars it had rolled out. A new bid was issued to supply city employees with the remaining cars needed.

Last week the public works board signed off on the lone bid, which came from Vision Fleet. There are a few changes in the now shorter, just four years instead of seven, deal, says Hannah Bain, the mayor’s director of constituent services. For one, it won’t be for a set number of cars.

"That number can fluctuate as best meets the needs of the city," Bain told WFYI.

Vision Fleet CEO Michael Brylawski said in a statement Monday his company looks forward to continuing to work with both Mayor Greg Ballard and Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett.

"We are pleased to have a new agreement in place that will allow this successful, innovative program to continue to modernize the City’s fleet, save taxpayer dollars and improve the efficiency of the vehicles our public servants drive every day."

Each car will cost a little less up front, but a few cents more per mile. Plug-in hybrid cars -- Chevy Volts and Ford Fusion Energis -- will cost the city about $8,000 per year. That's an estimate based on the $5,000 initial cost and 68 cents per the average of 12,000 miles driven a year. All-electric Nissan LEAFs will have a $2,000 lower upfront cost.

There will be a four-cent credit when the hybrid cars are driven on their electric charges compared to the gasoline backups.

City agencies will also have more say over the type of cars they're issued. IMPD officers and detectives were the most riled up over the cars they were issued. Gear and equipment could not be properly stored and secured in the Volts they were initially given.

Vision Fleet says city department heads, union representatives and the city council's attorney were involved in the bid review process.

Contact Ryan: 317.489.4491 | | @rpatrickdelaney 

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