75 New Toyota Priuses Debut
By Steve Schaefer
Gig Car Share is adding 75 brand new Priuses to its Bay Area fleet, and I got to help out. On March 3rd, I drove a spanking new car from Concord into downtown Berkeley.
I drove my Fiat 500e EV to Buchanan Field, Concord’s local airport. In a large blue hangar, I found a cluster of cars, waiting to be dispatched.
I used my Gig app to select the car that Rebecca and Mike assigned to me.
Dressed in Gig’s black livery with the handy blue rack and side signage, the midsize Priusis a real step up from the subcompact Prius C the fleet has used so far. But Toyota doesn’t sell the C anymore, so it was the best choice.
This Prius, with 0 miles on the odometer, was sparkling clean inside, and I was very comfortable as I piloted the car along the street and onto the freeway. The screen shows you how efficiently you’re driving and whether the car is using electricity from the battery, gas, or both. There’s a prominent sticker on the passenger side of the dash that encourages drivers to keep the car clean. The FM radio sounded clear and strong, and I noticed an occasional beep that kept me in the lane, which will aid in preventing accidents.
I decided to cruise through downtown Berkeley and find a parking spot near the BART station. This will not only make it easy for me to retrace my steps but also put the car in a high demand location. I circled the block and found a nice spot on Oxford Street, right across from the UC Berkeley campus.
As I turned off the car, I saw that the first trip for this car was fuel efficient:
I stepped out and popped open the app. Then I locked the car and completed the rental.
The app and the car worked flawlessly, and I found out later that the car was rented by someone just 11 minutes after I parked it. I walked to BART, took a Lyft from the station to my car, and drove home.