INDIANAPOLIS - Mayor Greg Ballard on Wednesday signed an executive order requiring all city vehicles to go electric by the year 2025, making Indianapolis the first city in the nation to make such a pledge.
Ballard outlined his proposal in a speech to the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, and said he wants to modernize Indy to become independent of oil for transportation fuel.
"The United States’ current transportation energy model, driven by oil, exacts an enormous cost financially and in terms of strategic leverage," Ballard said. "Our oil dependence in some cases places the fruits of our labor into the hands of dictators united against the people of the United States.I don't know about everybody else, but I'm getting tired of sending those young men and women (to war), getting injured and coming back dead. I'm just tired of that and we don't have to do it anymore."
Ballard also outlined steps to streamline the city's entire non-police fleet to electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2025.
“Over the course of the last century, Indianapolis has been a leader in automotive development, so it is perfectly fitting we lead the way again," Ballard said. "I've driven most of these vehicles. When I drove one a couple months ago, I realized at that point in time, we can make this switch now."
The city fleet of approximately 500 fleet cars will be replaced, as needed, saving taxpayers approximately $12,000 per vehicle over the ten-year life cycle of each car, Ballard's office said.
"I wouldn't be doing this unless I thought this would be saving the city money," Ballard said.
Under a partnership between the Energy Systems Network and the Project Plug-IN initiative, Indianapolis has already been recognized by Toyota, Ford and the U.S. Department of Energy as a one of the top communities for deployment of plug-in vehicles and charging stations with more than 200 charging stations installed across central Indiana.