Toyota exec Frank Miller and Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith
With cars like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf already on sale, plus a handful of startups either selling or building battery-powered cars on U.S. soil, it’s safe to say that the electric car revolution is truly upon us.
Sadly, the cost of entry to be a part of this revolution is still quite high, even with the myriad of state and federal incentives designed to get us all behind the wheel of a zero emission vehicle. And for now, demand exceeds supply, meaning interested buyers have to wait for months to get their cars.
Several companies, however, are hoping to change all that.
Car-sharing giant Zipcar, for example, has announced a deal with Toyota to add eight Prius Plug-In Hybrids to its vehicle fleet, helping to further test and evaluate plug-in hybrid use by the general public and offering early adopters a low cost means to at least sample zero-emission electric car mobility.
The first Prius Plug-In Hybrids are available now to Zipcar members in Boston/Cambridge, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. This is on top of the 1,000 regular hybrids Zipcar already has in its fleets. For the rest of us, Toyota plans to put its new Prius Plug-In Hybrid on sale in the U.S. by June 2012.
If you don’t happen to live in one of these localities, fortunately there are other ways to get behind the wheel of an electric car right now.
Car rental company Hertz is also on the verge of a global electric car roll-out program. New York City was one of the first regions to receive electric and plug-in hybrid rental cars from Hertz, and soon San Francisco, Washington, DC and other regions will follow suit.
Finally, General Motors has also announced that Chevrolet dealerships in the initial launch markets of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C., will be receiving dedicated Volt demonstration vehicles for customer test drives during the next few weeks.