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Medford Test Drives Plug-In Prius

The city has one of the not-yet-released hybrids on a six-week loan.

The newest vehicle in Medford's fleet can power up by plugging into any three-prong outlet.

The city is taking part in a test program where municipalities give Toyota's not-yet-released plug-in hybrid Prius as test run.

It costs about 45 cents to give the car an electric charge worth 13 miles, and it's equipped with typical Prius hybrid technology, allowing it to run off energy generated by breaking or switching to gas as well.

Mayor Michael McGlynn and City Hall staffers showed off the vehicle during a press conference Friday morning.

The city's office of energy and planning got Medford signed up for the program, and the vehicle is assigned to Code Enforcement Officer John Bavuso, who drives 25 to 30 miles in a typical work day.

"He's a great person to give this car a workout," said Alicia Hunt, city's Energy Efficiency Coordinator.

As code enforcement officer, Bavuso isn't always bearing good news, but the car has been bringing compliments, he said. Bavuso has been using it for the last week.

"The last two tickets I wrote, they both said 'Nice car,'" he said.

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