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[NEWS] Citroen launches reward scheme for PHEV drivers who charge up

Citroen launches reward scheme for PHEV drivers who charge up

Citroen C5X PHEV charging
Notifications will be sent to drivers who haven't charged their PHEVs for more than five days

Firm encourages owners to use plug-in hybrids as intended, with in-car messages and points scheme

Citroën will encourage drivers of its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models to charge and use their vehicle's battery more often, using regular in-car messages. 

The French brand has announced the move, which has just launched in the UK, as part of a drive towards environmental sustainability.

Citroën confirmed notifications will be displayed on central touchscreens in PHEV variants of the Citroën C5 X and Citroën C5 Aircross if they haven’t been charged after five days or 10 trips to “encourage people to take action”.

A spokesman for the brand told Autocar those who aren’t using PHEVs as their makers intended are effectively driving a standard combustion-powered car with the added load of a heavy, unused battery that is only decreasing fuel efficiency and, therefore, is less environmentally friendly.

However, a rewards system – similar in practice to a Tesco Clubcard – will launch next year to give back to those who are charging on a regular basis, with points able to be claimed against public charging costs and even train tickets. Points can be earned by charging either at home or at a public station, Citroën confirmed.

Details of how these points will be accrued, or their worth, have yet to be announced, but it follows in a similar vein to a points programme launched by BMW last year.

The German car maker rewards PHEV drivers for covering as many electrically driven miles as possible within designated 'eDrive Zones' across the UK.

The desinated zones – located in cities such as Bath, Manchester and London – offer two points for each mile driven with the engine off, with £10 charging credit given after 3200 points are earned. The reward climbs to £25 at 7500 points and £50 at 14,500 points. 

BMW also offers 20 points every time a PHEV is charged for more than 15 minutes and 500 points for each user who charges their PHEV more than 20 times per month.

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