French investment and industrial holding company Bollore Group will invest $35 million in creating its "Blue Indy" program in Indianapolis to promote electric cars and advanced batteries.
Vincent Bollore, founder of the company, said in a telephone interview that the program will start within eight months and that it will use 500 Bluecars and 1,000 charging stations, according to Automotive News.
"We thought it would be good to start with a medium-size" U.S. city, Bollore said. "We want to show the electric car is the best solution for the future."
"Members" of Blue Indy will be able to swipe at one of 25 initial stations in the city and "borrow" a car to get to different destinations, WTHR reported.
"You only pay for the part that you use," said Marc Lotter, spokesman for Mayor Greg Ballard. "As soon as you plug into your destination your rental stops and you don't have to worry about filling it up with gas because it's all electric. You don't have to worry about returning it where you first picked it up."
Indianapolis is looking to have 125 electric cars in its fleet by this year's end, with students, businesses and downtown residents being the service's biggest users.
"People who don't want to own a second car or who can't afford a car can use one of these, take it to the store, take it to an appointment," Lotter said.
Blue Indy will begin in December, with 200 sites planned to open. Dimitri Hochard, senior electrical engineer at Bollore, said the remaining 175 should be open by the end of 2015, Indianapolis Star reported.
The city is partnering with Indianapolis Power & Light Co. for the program.
Once in place, the fleet will be the biggest share system of electric cars in the U.S., WTHR reported. Fees for the Blue Indy cars have not been announced yet.
The four-seater vehicles were displayed on Monday at Washington and Meridan Streets.
"This is awesome," said Andrea Wuertz, a resident of the area. "Right now we have two cars and I can see us going down to one vehicle and use this to go to the grocery store on days it's raining and use the other vehicle that's parked in a parking garage a couple blocks away on long trips."