• Jun 19th 2007 at 12:57PM
  • 6
It's no secret that Google wants to get in on the green. And by that I mean the environment.

Last September, Google.org, the philanthropic part of the Internet giant, announced it would use some of its $1 billion seed money US to fight global warming by investing in companies to make a 100+ mpg ultra-efficient plug-in hybrid car. Today, we know more about the who, what, and where.

Google.org announced today something called RechargeIT (clever, that), an initiative that will, in part, give $11 million towards making plug-in hybrids easier to come by. One million is already spoken for, and the other ten will go to those who submit the best plans "to fund development, adoption and commercialization of plug-ins, fully electric cars and related vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology." Google will release the formal request for proposals (RFP) later this summer.

The first million will be distributed this way, according to the press release:
  • Brookings Institution: $200,000 to support a spring 2008 conference on federal policy to promote plug-ins
  • CalCars: $200,000 to support its work to educate the public about plug-ins
  • Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI): $200,000 to support its plug-in research and development program;
  • Plug-In America: $100,000 to raise public awareness and advocate for plug-in transportation;
  • Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI): $200,000 to enable RMI to launch the design of a practical plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, with additional support and collaboration by Alcoa, Johnson Controls, and the Turner Foundation;
  • Dr. Willett Kempton, University of Delaware: $150,000 for megawatt scale vehicle-to-grid research and implementation planning.
(Does that grant to RMI mean we'll be seeing the Hypercar on the roads soon?)

The other green car news announced by Google today is the start-up of the solar panel installation at Google HQ to power the plug-in vehicles Google already has. The opening ceremony was attended by representatives from PG&E, who showcased some smart grid technology. Google employees will also be able to get free car sharing through Google Fleet. This fleet will get 100 PHEVs when they're available.

So, today we're one step closer to making 100+ mpg cars a reality for the masses. This is good news.

[Source: Google.org, thanks to everyone who sent this tip in]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree with Jeff, $200,000 is nothing. GM already developed the technology over 10 years ago with there EV1 electric car.

      Google should use their money in another way. GM had an all electric EV1 car until the oil companies paid off GM and had them taken from their customers. It's not the first time GM screwed there customers and employees.

      GM should bring the EV1 back and let the people decide if we want an all electric car or not. The oil companies should not tell us what technology we should use for our cars and make us dependent on their overpriced gas!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      "$200,000 to support its work to educate the public about plug-ins"

      All this sounds fine and good, but THERE ARE NO PLUG IN HYBRIDS. Or EV's for that matter. You can't buy one unless you want some shady beat up 90's Ford Ranger off eBay, or from some crazy overseas company with no dealers, support, or anything. Instead of "donating" all this money to give politicians fun parties to go to, why don't they try and develop a car themselves? $200,000 doesn't do crap for development.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What's the image by the emissions blurb, a tank?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think it's supposed to be a seltzer bottle.

      >What's the image by the emissions blurb, a tank?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I can't see the 'limitation'. Isn't it an extension to the car's capabilities?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The thing about plug-in hybrids is they only get 100MPG (equivalent) until the batteries run low. Once that happens, they drop to their original 30-40 MPG (real), as the gas engine must get back to work. This is still a great idea for everyday commuters, but I am curious how the market will react to this often-ignored limitation.
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