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02/19/2009 11:25 AM     print story email story  

Zipcar, San Francisco Launch Plug-in Hybrid Pilot Program News

Car-sharing company Zipcar yesterday announced the launched of a pilot program for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) in its Bay Area fleet through a partnership with the city of San Francisco.

The company said it is looking for ways to increase the percentage of PHEVs in the fleet in 2009, but did not give any specific numbers. 

At a press conference with Mayor Gavin Newsom, Zipcar showcased a Toyota Prius that has been converted for plug-in capability. The vehicle employed a Hymotion(TM) L5 Plug-In Conversion Module (PCM) provided by A123 Systems.

The addition of the Hymotion battery provides the Prius with up to 30-40 miles of electrically assisted driving on a single charge. When the battery is depleted, the vehicle automatically reverts to standard hybrid operation, so driving range isn't a concern.

"Electric vehicles are the future of transportation and the Bay Area is the testing ground for the technology," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "We began using plug-in hybrids in the city's fleet last year. Now, for the first time the public can plug-in to the next generation of cars through car sharing organizations and take them for a drive in San Francisco.

The City also announced the installation of three charging stations at City Hall made by California-based Coulomb Technologies

In November 2008, Better Place announced that it would bring an electric vehicle charging network to San Francisco.

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