- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana regulators have rejected a rate hike that sought to pay for an Indianapolis electric car-sharing service’s charging stations.

Indianapolis Power & Light wanted a $16 million rate increase for a network of car-charging stations that the BlueIndy electric cars would use. BlueIndy is a partnership between Indianapolis and France-based Bolloré Group, which wants to spend $35 million to bring 1,000 vehicles and 250 charging stations to the city.

The Indianapolis Star reports (https://indy.st/1uFrpd3 ) it would be the country’s biggest electric car-sharing program. But the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission rejected the rate hike Wednesday, finding that electricity customers should not have to pay for a car-rental service that only a small percentage of people would use.

“We ultimately determined that there was insufficient evidence to justify the use of ratepayer funds to install infrastructure owned by a private company,” Carol Stephan, chairwoman of the commission, said in a statement.

But the commission did find that the utility could pass on to customers $3 million in costs for extending power lines to the charging stations, saying it would benefit economic development.

BlueIndy has been ready for months, but the program was held back to wait for the commission’s decision. Company spokesman Bob Briggs said a day before the ruling that if it went against BlueIndy, it would not inhibit the car share.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said in a statement that the city “remains committed to working with our partners” to implement the program.

The utility has 20 days to appeal the decision.


Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com

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