City of Indianapolis employees told to immediately stop charging electric vehicles at home

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 9, 2015) – A memo sent out to IMPD plug-in drivers tells them to stop charging their electric cars at home. The City of Indianapolis confirms six incidents where the vehicles overloaded circuits, at least one home was damaged.

“Thankfully no one got hurt and no one’s garage or house caught on fire,” said Councilman Frank Mascari.

This latest development is yet another hit for the city’s Freedom Fleet program, which is already the subject of a lawsuit.

Officials with the Department of Public Works said they became aware of the charging issues during the last week of June. They could not tell FOX59 when the first at-home charging incident happened. There have been no reported accidents or injuries.

“I think the challenge is that someone may or may not know their home is wired so you know you plug into an outlet in your garage, you may or may not not know what else is on that circuit,” said Scott Manning, DPW Spokesperson.

The memo, sent out late Wednesday night, tells employees to stop charging the electric cars at home until an approved electrician can inspect the charging site. According to the memo, the city intends to schedule and complete the inspections by the end of August.

“The real question for us is, why weren’t these steps taken before vehicles were deployed? It seems like a rational, and frankly a responsible thing to do,” said Rick Snyder, President of FOP Lodge 86.

A spokesperson for Vision Fleet said there were discussions about doing home inspections during the initial phases of the program but the city decided to do intensive driver training.

When asked who said no to the inspections, Manning said, “I can’t answer that, I don’t know that no was said to the home inspections.”

According to DPW about 100 take-home electric cars have been assigned. A spokesperson said all of those homes will have to be inspected.

“I think for everybody’s benefit this entire program needs to be put on pause, we need to stop what we’re doing,” said Councilman Aaron Freeman.

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