Buying a hybrid/electric car rewards the driver in knowing that by driving such a car, they are doing their part for the environment. There is also the added benefit of saving on gas since hybrids do tend to consume less fuel than their gas-powered counterparts. However if those perks aren’t good enough, not to worry.
It seems that over in Japan, Toyota has partnered up with five major electricity providers to give real-world rewards to owners who drive the plug-in Prius models (known as the Prius Prime in the US), where drivers can earn points that have monetary value that can be used towards paying off your electricity bills or exchanged for products. So in case the intrinsic value of owning a plug-in wasn’t enough, perhaps this will be motivation to get one.
So how does this reward program work? Basically the more you drive on electric power only, the more points you will be able to get. Other factors that can earn one points include how much charging at home is being done, as well as other data collected by the car’s data communication module. The data is then collected by Toyota and passed onto the electricity providers, but unfortunately they did not break down what the points are worth and what other factors are taken into consideration.
It is an interesting program and while it does seem to encourage drivers to drive using the electric mode or to encourage car buyers to purchase similar vehicles, we have to wonder about the long-term sustainability of such a program, unless it is merely just a promotion to try and get customers interested in the plug-in Prius.