Electric vehicles are often championed for their environmental benefits, but for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, national security is also critical.
BALLARD: “I was a 23-year marine. I was in the Gulf War back in 90-91. When the oil wells were burning, I lived in that for three days, and so that was an experience by itself.”
For Ballard, it drove home the link between energy and national security.
BALLARD: “Energy is a weapon around the world and it shouldn’t be. It just shouldn’t be. You know, we have China and India and other nations sending money to Iran for their oil, and as long as that keeps happening, then we’re going to have trouble with terrorism and wars that we send our people over there to help fix.”
Ballard believes that with today’s technology, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. In Indianapolis, he’s pushing for an all-electric car-sharing program, and replacing the city’s non-police vehicles with electric hybrids. He calls it the “Freedom Fleet.”
BALLARD: “We’re looking at not only trying to save money but trying to make sure that we dampen the oil market just enough that we have more strategic leverage, and stop sending our young men and women over to the Middle East to fight for something that we don’t have to fight for any more.”
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo sources: Indianapolis Mayor Ballard website and Vision Fleet (see links below)