Now that home car charging is a reality, manufacturers can start competing on perks. Toyota's announced the H2V Manager, which monitors household power consumption, automatically starts or stops charging based on energy supply, and allows plug-in Prius owners to manually start or stop home charging via their PC, television, or smartphone. Toyota says you can also remotely check in on power use and manage charging with smartphones using the Toyota Smart Center — a home smart grid system created in partnership with Microsoft that's designed to help people manage their home's overall power use efficiently. Toyota didn't provide many other details, so we're not sure which connected devices will be compatible, or how the H2V and Smart Center will actually integrate.

Toyota says it plans on selling a line-up of household hybrid and electric vehicle chargers, including a standard charger, a wall-mounted charger, and a pole-mounted charger, and that the H2V will be compatible with all of them. The H2V will launch in January 2012 for ¥157,500 (about $2,045) including installation and tax — a handsome fee for a single piece of home automation. Hopefully by then we'll get some more details on how this thing actually works.