EUGENE, OR - The city of Eugene, Ore. is testing a next-generation Toyota Prius that includes a plug-in feature with the gas-electric hybrid system, according to KVAL.com.
Under a state program through Thanksgiving, the city is getting free use of the vehicle, which travels 14 miles in electric mode before the hybrid motor kicks in. The distance is enough for Eugene city employees making local trips, so the city is running on all-electric.
The city already operates almost 100 hybrid cars and small SUVs in the fleet.
Later this month, the city wants to test an all-electric vehicle.
Tony Jobanek, fleet manager for the city's motor pool program, said the city's efforts are saving money. He added that without the hybrid vehicles, the city would probably have used twice the amount of fuel. In addition, hybrid maintenance costs are about half of the maintenance costs of gas-only vehicles. Largely through the use of hybrid cars, the city used 12,000 fewer gallons of gas last year compared to 2008.
The all-electric vehicle being tested later in October is a model from Mitsubishi, with a range of 100 miles between charges.