So this is the Prius dash, and this is my answer.

It’s for the US, so the main thing I’m riffing off is that they have cup-holders everywhere, and the coffee culture is well embedded.

Step 1 is to put a coffee machine in the dashboard of the car. [In the presentation, this slide builds in stages. The coffee percolator from 2 slides ago replaces the music system and some of the compartments on the dash.] People will like that whatever; it’s a great selling point for the car. Step 2 is to wire the heating plate of the coffee machine to the same wires that charge the electric battery.

Here’s what happens. This is a road, by the way, with a hill.

To begin with, the road is flat. There’s minimal battery charging going on, and the coffee’s okay.

Going uphill, there’s no spare energy to charge the battery and so the heating plate is switching off. Cold coffee.

Going downhill, if you turn the petrol engine off and coast on gravity, the battery charges and so the heating plate comes on. The coffee heating plate gets piping hot and the coffee gives off fumes. Mmm, hot coffee. It smells great! You begin to associate the great smell and the buzz of hot coffee with environmentally sound Prius battery charging. You associate the drug hit with mining energy from gravity.

Okay. That’s my invention, my coffee-culture Pavlovian-training ecofriendly battery-charging-training hybrid car encourager invention. I like it because it all feels appropriate.

Matt Webb, S&W, posted 2006-07-14 (talk on 2006-07-13)