Indianapolis plans ‘Freedom Fleet’: 425 electric vehicles

In very exciting news coming from our neighboring state to the south, the City of Indianapolis looks to be making the biggest EV purchase commitment yet for a U.S. City. We’re hoping that one of Michigan’s cities could follow their lead.

Late last month, Indy Mayor Greg Ballard unveiled the beginnings of what he’s calling the "Freedom Fleet," 425 plug-in sedans that are expected to save the city 2.2 million gallons of gas over the next decade, according to media reports.

"This is a landmark step in revitalizing our aging fleet and replacing expensive internal combustion engine vehicles with cutting-edge EV technology, all while reducing our dependence on oil and saving Indianapolis taxpayers thousands in fuel costs each year," Ballard said.

Check out this video from a local newscast:

The deal’s financing model, the first of its kind in the country, is something we need to look at here in Michigan. The way it works is that a California-based fleet manager buys the cars and covers all of the maintenance costs, including the gasoline and electricity needed to power the hybrid vehicles.

The city will pay Vision Fleet $32 million over the seven-year contract to lease the cars, no longer having to maintain a gasoline-based fleet. Estimates say the city will save more than $8 million over the next decade through the deal.

This isn't the first time that Indianapolis has shown an appetite for promoting electric vehicles: we reported earlier this year about their innovative electric car-sharing program.

It definitely sounds like something we need to study to see how we can apply it here in Michigan.