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Zipcar and Toyota to Launch Multi-City Introduction of PHEVs

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Car sharing service provider Zipcar announced today the introduction of eight Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHVs) into its network, that are now available to Zipcar members in Boston/Cambridge, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. This move is part of a test designed to see how electric vehicles can fit into a large-scale car-sharing program. "Zipcar is an ideal test bed for early consumer acceptance of EVs.  This project will allow companies to receive direct feedback from thousands of consumers in three cities and help evaluate how EVs fit into a large-scale car sharing model," said Scott Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Zipcar. The Toyota Prius PHVs, which will become commercially available in 2012, are eight of approximately 160 being distributed by Toyota nationwide. Because many trips taken by Zipcar members are fewer than 13 miles (21km), many PHV trips will be emission-free. The Prius PHV is powered by lithium-ion batteries and can be charged from a standard 110-volt outlet. The vehicle, which takes up to three hours to charge, can travel on electric-only power at speeds of up to 62 mph for approximately 13 miles (21km), after which it shifts to operate as a conventional Prius hybrid, averaging an estimated 50 mpg (4.70 l/100km). "The PHV demonstration program is designed to gather real-world driving data and customer feedback on plug-in hybrid technology, and we're excited to be working with Zipcar to further test how this technology could have even greater environmental impact by fitting into the car sharing model," said Mary Nickerson, national manager, advanced technology vehicles, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "This program will help us to educate and inform the public on plug-in hybrid technology, evaluate the performance of the vehicle under different driving conditions and better understand the benefits to future customers." autoevolution has tested the Prius Hybrid. You can check out the review here.
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