Monday, June 1, 2020

Where Subsidized Environmentalism Goes

After roughly five years of existence, the BlueIndy electric car-sharing program in Indianapolis had accrued only about 3,000 members. For those keeping track of the balance sheet, that wasn't nearly enough to be a realistically successful business. The innovative program that launched in September 2015 did not go as planned, and it has shuttered operations as a result. 

In a Q&A section of its website, BlueIndy states, "This difficult decision to close the business on May 21, 2020, has been taken as the service did not reach the level of activity required to be economically viable here." According to the IndyStar, the project cost a total of $50 million to launch. Of that $50 million, the city paid $6 million, and Indianapolis Power & Light Company paid at least another $1 million to install the underground-wired charging stations. In total, the program was able to put out about 280 cars and 90 power stations throughout Indianapolis and took up hundreds of parking spaces.
Clearly the program did not have enough subsidies to make Indianapolis' incipient Greens wake up.


  1. I'm vacillating between concern about the sunk-cost fallacy and the broken window fallacy.

    The costs for the charging stations are largely sunk, the utility ratepayers will be paying for them over the next 10 years whether they are destroyed or not. And some small proportion of motorists with plug-in cars of one sort or another may find them useful. At least at the luxury-end, some people find electric cars cool, but need to charge them on occasion.

    It may be that open unreserved parking spaces are worth more to the community, however.

    In spite of vast wind-farms to the NW of the city, electric car charging in Indy is coal-burning.

  2. Maybe some dedicated power lines could be constructed from the wind farms directly to the electric car charging stations would wake up the greens in Indinanapolis.