While the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) won’t be commercially available until 2012, Zipcar, the world’s largest car sharing service, announced yesterday that it will introduce eight of them into its network. The move is being bade in “an effort to further test and evaluate plug-in hybrid technology and gain increased intelligence on how electric vehicles (EVs) can fit into a large-scale car-sharing model.”
The eight Toyota Prius PHV units are available to Zipcar members in Boston/Cambridge, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. All eight units are part of a pilot program with Toyota to demo plug-in hybrid technology and examine the performance of the technology while preparing the world for electrification.
“As the operator of the largest connected vehicle network in the world, Zipcar is committed to taking a thoughtful and deliberate approach to EVs. Given Toyota’s long standing commitment to hybrid and plug-in vehicle technologies, they are an ideal partner for this project. We are dedicated to embracing cutting-edge vehicle technology in a strategic way, and in a way that meets the standards of large scale, multi-city, multi-country car sharing,” said Scott Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Zipcar.
Refresher: The Toyota Prius plug-in can be driven approximately 13 miles on battery power at speeds up to 60 mph. It takes only three hours to fully charge on a 110 volt outlet, and only 1.7 hours on 220 volts. Once the battery is depleted, the Prius plug-in will go back to a standard hybrid powertrain, the same setup in the normal Prius.
– By: Omar Rana