Zipcar, a provider of cars-on-demand by the hour or day, announced Feb. 18 it has launched a pilot program for plug-in hybrid vehicles in its Bay Area fleet through a partnership with the city of San Francisco.
To meet member interests, Zipcar is looking for ways to increase the percentage of these types of vehicles in the fleet in 2009. The pilot program and partnership with the city will provide existing and new Zipcar members with an easy, convenient and cost-effective way to test drive the next generation of clean vehicles, helping the city and Zipcar both gauge interest and use of EVs and PHEVs.
The plug-in hybrid for the San Francisco Zipcar fleet is a Toyota Prius converted with the Hymotion(TM) L5 Plug-In Conversion Module (PCM) provided by A123 Systems. The addition of the Hymotion L5 PCM battery provides the Prius with up to 30 - 40 miles of electrically assisted driving on a single charge from the utility grid. During those first 30 - 40 miles, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by up to 66 percent and fuel economy of up to 100 mpg or greater can be achieved. When the L5 PCM battery is depleted, the Prius automatically reverts to standard HEV operation, so driving range need not be a concern.