Toyota has just launched the 2013 Prius Plug-in MPG challenge to raise environmental awareness and to help promote maximizing fuel efficiency of the Prius Plug-in. The challenge will also benefit several charitable organizations. Either way, I think it’s a great move on Toyota’s part.
The MPG challenge is targeted at the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut areas and is limited to participation by charitable organizations only. Toyota is offering $20,000 in prizes to the organizations that end a 30-day driving period with the highest MPG while driving a borrowed Prius Plug-in from Toyota.
During the challenge, there will be five separate waves with up to eight challengers in each wave. Each wave lasts 30 days and the first wave will begin in West Caldwell, NJ, where challengers will receive their Prius Plug-in Hybrid EVs for 30 days.
To qualify for the challenge, participants must drive at least 500 miles during the 30-day period and at least 75 miles each week. At the end of each 30-day period, judges will examine the Prius trip computer to see who achieved the highest MPG in each wave.
The winners of each wave will receive a $2,500 contribution and the second place finishers will receive a $1,000 contribution. Third place finishers receive $500. Toyota is also giving all participating organizations a $200 gas card, which will help cover the 500-mile 30-day requirement.
David Christ, the general manager of Toyota’s New York Region, had this to say, “We see the MPG Challenge as a way to make environmental education fun. By tapping regional organizations, we’re able to engage at a local level while demonstrating the Toyota Prius Plug-In’s ability to improve the lives of our fellow community members.”
The first wave of ecologically conscious organizations participating as MPG Challengers includes:
- The Greyston Foundation, a Yonkers, NY–based network of for-profit and not-for-profit entities providing life services and work opportunities to low-income individuals and families, including the bakery that exclusively supplies brownies to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
- Greater Mercer TMA, a nonprofit, public private partnership dedicated to reducing traffic congestion, decreasing air pollution, and improving mobility in and around Mercer and Ocean County, NJ.
- Bloomfield College, an independent, four-year college in Bloomfield, NJ, that prepares students to attain academic, personal, and professional excellence in a multicultural and global society
- RYASAP, a Bridgeport, Connecticut–based nonprofit that serves as a catalyst in communities to ensure the safe and healthy development of youth, young adults, and families
- The Center of United Methodist Aid to the Community Ecumenically Concerned Helping Others (CUMAC/ECHO), which works to alleviate hunger and its root causes in Paterson, Passaic County, and northern NJ.
- Glamourgals, a national organization that creates teen volunteer chapters providing companionship and complimentary beauty makeovers to women living in senior homes.
- The Helping Hands Food Pantry, a donation-run group established by a local councilman and minister in Teaneck, NJ, that provides free, supplemental groceries to needy residents.
To bring some real-time information to the event, participants will be able to log activity via several social channels. If you would like to follow the progress of the challenge or cheer on your favorite organization — here are the social links:
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