Toyota Prius Plug-In MPG Challenge's first winner averages 356 MPGe

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What did those "Helping Hands" end up doing, push the dang car for a month? Toyota in late May announced its first-ever Prius MPG Challenge pitting non-profits against each other for bragging rights over who could use the least amount of gas driving their Prius Plug-in. With the "wave one" results now in, the winner was New Jersey's Helping Hands Food Pantry, which almost quadrupled the Prius Plug-in's EPA-rated 95 miles per gallon-equivalent (MPGe) rating by getting 356 MPGe over 506 miles. Yes, those food runs to folks in need must've been as short as they were appreciated. For its victory, Helping Hands gets a $2,500 donation from the Japanese automaker in addition to a $200 gas card that will probably take about a year to use.

The MPG Challenge's "wave two" kicked off Wednesday with seven non-profit organizations from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut competeing against each other. Like the first wave, contestants will be required to drive at least 500 miles and 75 miles per week during a 30-day period. More details are available in Toyota's press release below.
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Toyota Partners with Eco-Savvy Influencers on 2013 Prius MPG Challenge

Wave One Winner Helping Hands Food Pantry Hits 356 MPGe, Setting High Bar for New Challengers

WEST CALDWELL, N.J., July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on the success of wave one of the Prius Plug-In MPG Challenge, Toyota today launched wave two of the competition, which brings together seven prolific environmental influencers from N.Y., N.J. and Conn. These ecologically-conscious influencers will borrow Prius Plug-In vehicles and compete against one another to see who can garner the highest overall MPG over the course of a 30-day period.

Toyota also recently announced the first wave winner of the Prius Plug-In MPG Challenge, which launched in May. The Helping Hands Food Pantry, a donation-run group established by a local councilman and minister in Teaneck, N.J., that provides free, supplemental groceries to needy residents, claimed the top spot with an average of 356 MPGe* over 506 total miles driven – 261 MPGe more than the vehicle's official estimated average in EV Mode. As a result of this considerable accomplishment, the Helping Hands Food Pantry will receive a $2,500 contribution for its achievement.

Participants in the second wave of the Toyota Prius Plug-In MPG Challenge include:
• Earth Day New York, a nonprofit organization promoting environmental awareness and solutions through partnerships with schools, community organizations, businesses and government
• EcoKaren, a chiropractor-turned-green-living-consultant and blogger focused on the connection between the environment and health
• Green-4-U, a resource for people who want to know more about green living but do not know where to start
• Green Divas, a radio show and blog offering listeners information on green and sustainable living
• Green Living Guy, author and editor of the "Green Guru" series
• Inhabitat, a blog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future
• New York Green Advocate, a blog authored by environmental activist Paul McGinniss focused around the latest news about the world environment, sustainable living, renewable energy and green building

"As the first wave of the Challenge comes to a successful end, we look forward to an equally spirited competition between our environmental influencers for wave two," said David Christ, general manager of Toyota's New York Region. "The Prius Plug-In MPG Challenge is yet another opportunity for Toyota to demonstrate its commitment to educating drivers on how they can make an ecological difference in this world."

To be eligible to win, participants must drive a minimum of 300 miles total and 75 miles each week. The highest overall MPG according to the Prius' trip computer per 30-day challenge wins a $2,500 donation to the charity of their choice. Second and third place winners also receive charitable donations of $1,000 and $500. All participants will also receive a $200 gas card.

Wave two challengers will document their activity in real-time via social channels, including:
• Facebook:
• Twitter:
• Instagram:
*Miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe) is a measure of the average distance traveled per unit of energy consumed.

About Toyota Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the United States, which sold more than 2 million vehicles in 2012. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the United States and its investment here is currently valued at more than $19.5 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from U.S. suppliers totals over $27.5 billion.
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