Making Car-Sharing Even Greener
Toyota's plug-in version of the Prius hybrid won't come out before 2012, but thanks to a deal with car-sharing company Zipcar, some lucky Zipcar members in Boston/Cambridge, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, will be able to get an early preview. Zipcar has taken delivery of 8 Prius PHEVs, and the goal is for both Toyota and Zipcar to gather data about real-world usage of plug-in vehicles.
Where exactly are those PHEVs?
"Zipcar currently offers three of the vehicles in Cambridge/Boston; one located at the Albany Street Garage on the campus of MIT, one at 33 Arch Street in downtown Boston and one at the Prudential Center. San Francisco members have access to three of the Prius PHV vehicles, which join a converted plug-in Prius already in the fleet. One of the vehicles is housed in front of City Hall, one is located in North Point/Fisherman's Wharf and the third is located in Union Square. Two vehicles are also available in Portland, one at the Portland State University Parking Garage and one at Shaver Green. The eight Prius PHVs will be available to Zipcar members in Boston/Cambridge, San Francisco and Portland for reservation throughout 2011."
Car-sharing companies are almost ideal early-adopters for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles because fuel is a much bigger fraction of their costs (their cars are on the road a lot more than a private car), and the cars are almost always parked in the same spots, making it easy to put electric chargers there.
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