Toyota has remained behind other automakers when it comes to moving forward with electric vehicles. It's the king of hybrids, and it has been for years. As EV interest started to grow more quickly in the recent past, Toyota ran an advertising campaign about its "self-charging hybrids." Now, the brand says it can make your home charging energy cleaner, even if your power comes from non-renewables.
You're probably thinking this must be a scam, or, how can Toyota pull this off?
First, let's quickly address the situation. There's still a large group of folks out there who believe that electric cars pollute just as much as, if not more than, gas cars. The premise is complicated, but it basically takes into account the emissions produced while manufacturing the cars, as well as the energy consumed, which still comes from non-renewables in many cases.
This idea has been debunked time and time again since energy production is transitioning to renewables. In short, it all comes down to how your local electricity is produced. Toyota now says it has a solution for its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) owners.
You'll have to watch the short video above to fully understand what Toyota is proposing here. However, the general idea is somewhat simple.
Toyota is offering Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime owners the chance to be part of a new "Clean Assist" program. The program tracks your vehicle charging to figure out how much energy you consume. Then, according to Autoblog:
"Toyota proceeds to generate or buy an equivalent amount of California-sourced Renewable Energy Certificates to match your 'regular energy' with 'renewable energy.' These certificates are part of a program recognized by the EPA that records the generation and usage of green energy."
The certificates provide proof that your car was charged using clean/renewable energy. This leads to the generation of low-carbon credits that can be sold. Autoblog points out that the credits can then be used to promote, market, and incentivize EVs, while also working to educate the public.
The Clean Assist program is free to join, and Toyota says it will only track your charging data.
Would you opt-in? Does this make sense? We're interested to know what our audience thinks of such a plan. Start a conversation in the comment section below.