From California to Indiana, some EV friendly policies we’re watching

In California, a utility just got the go ahead to build a charging station network

In the past, regulators were iffy about allowing utilities to install charging infrastructure, with the reasoning being that it might create a monopoly in an emerging market.

But those days may be behind us, based on a recent decision in California.  

California utility Southern California Edison just won approval from regulators to launch a pilot program of 1,500 charging stations across the their service territory.

We’ve long been advocates of getting utilities into the charging infrastructure game- they’re well equipped to make charging widely accessible. And that’s key for boosting EV adoption.

SCE’s next step after the pilot? Another 30,000 stations.


In Indiana, EV ride sharing and electric buses are taking off

For a city perhaps best known for car racing, Indianapolis is making headlines for being a pretty EV friendly city. Indianapolis just added 21 electric buses to its fleet, making it the second largest electric fleet in the U.S. (Chicago also just got some new electric buses).

As we’ve written before, electric buses not only make for a more enjoyable commute, but for a cleaner one as well. Electrifying buses can cut up to 40% of emissions and 70% of fuel costs.

Indianapolis’ electric car sharing service, Blue Indy, also just hit over 1,000 members in the new year. This is good news after it ran into a few hiccups after its inception. The car share service saw 7,000 rides in its first 4 months, and is planning to expand out of the metro area soon.

And in Michigan?

General Motors recently announced a “personal mobility” service called Maven. It’s a car sharing program that’s launching right here in Michigan (Ann Arbor to be exact) and will initially feature a couple of plug-in Chevy Volts. Initially being offered to a small group of testers, these are the first “rentable” EV’s available in the state to our knowledge.   

Wired writes that Maven is GM’s move towards positioning itself at the forefront of an industry that will be “completely remade by autonomous vehicles.” Any Ann Arborites who test it out should let us know how it goes.

Photo by Flickr user Venus Kitastojgawasic via Creative Commons license