The Boston Common Garage (BCG) parking facility and Zipcar, Inc., a car sharing network, announced the introduction of four new 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrids to Zipcar's Boston fleet as well as additional plug-in stations and priority parking for Zipcars and other hybrid vehicles at the Boston Common Garage.
According to Zipcar, the new "green zone" on the BCG's middle level is part of an ongoing effort by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which owns and operates the garage, to create one of Boston's most environmentally friendly public parking facilities. Zipcar also said it is the first car sharing company in the U.S. to introduce electric vehicles, starting in Boston in 2002, and is the first carsharing company to offer hybrid vehicles through a partnership with Honda in Seattle in 2003.
The BCG's new green parking area is branded and just feet away from the facility's entrance and exit ramps. Signs from the Charles Street entrance will lead drivers to the area, which is restricted to Zipcar hybrid, plug-in, or privately owned vehicles. In addition, the BCG is branding priority parking spots for hybrids near each of the garage's four entrances to Boston Common, the oldest park in the country. The charging stations were funded through a U.S. Department of Energy grant, Zipcar said.
Zipcar currently has four Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid vehicles available in Boston: two at BCG, one at Post Office Square Garage, and one on the Harvard University campus at Garden Street and Fernald Drive. The plug-ins are available to all Zipcar members 21 years old or older, starting at $11.25 per hour.
Honda's 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid, based on the popular five-passenger Accord, is rated at a combined fuel economy of 46 mpg, according to Honda. On a full charge and tank of gas, the range of the Accord Plug-in Hybrid is approximately 570 miles. The Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid battery can be recharged in about three hours when plugged into a standard 120Vv(Level 1) electrical outlet and in less than one hour using a 240V (Level-2) charger, according to Honda.