Google To Spend $10 Million on Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Project

  • Published on March 24th, 2008 by
 

Prius, plug-in, PHEV, hybrid, Toyota

[social_buttons] As usual, Google is at the forefront of, well, everything. But this one is a little surprising: their philanthropic branch, Google.org, is putting $10 million into plug-in electric hybrid research and real-world testing. If you’ve been reading Gas 2.0 lately, you already know that’s as much as will be rewarded to the winners of the 2010 Automotive X Prize for revolutionary green car technology.

Last September, Google offered up the $10 million in a formal Request For Proposals (RFP), saying they wanted to invest in any company that would “accelerate the commercialization of alternative transportation that reduces vehicle fossil fuel use and climate emissions.” In other words, getting plug-in hybrids, fully electric vehicles, vehicle-to-grid capabilities, and batteries and other storage technologies on the market.

Google’s own project, called RechargeIT, hopes to accelerate the development of plug-in hybrid and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. They’ve already set up a demonstration fleet by adding plugs and batteries to four Prius and two Ford Escape Hybrids. In an ongoing analysis, Google will be using performance data from the fleet to examine the usefulness of plug-in hybrids and their ability to transfer power to and from the electricity grid (that’s the V2G part). Google will also experiment with drawing power for the cars from their solar charging stations campus.

You can follow along with the results of Google’s performance data on the RechargIT.org dashboard or blog. You can also compare emissions and mileage data to your own vehicle with Google’s Vehicle Calculator.

To find out more about how a Prius or Escape hybrid can be converted into a 100 mpg+ plug-in vehicle, see these posts:

Related Posts:

Plug-In Hybrids Could Require 160 New Power Plants By 2030 (Or None At All)

Plug-In Hybrids Use Over 17 Times More Water Than Regular Cars, Researchers Say

Could Hybrid Vehicles Hinder Development of More Sustainable Alternatives?

Source: SolveClimate.com (Mar. 23, 2008): Google’s New Search Function: The Best Eco-Engine

Photo Credit: RechargeIT.org





About the Author

In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.
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  • Do you think that Google can do the conversion better than the OEM’s?

  • Contact: Carrie Fox 202.255.9214

    Carrie.Fox@xprize.org

    113.1 Miles Per Gallon!

    Bellingham Man Sets New World Record for Fuel Economy in Drive from Canada to Oregon

    Avion- the Lightweight Sports Car from Bellingham, WA, Sets New World Record of 113.1 MPG

    Vancouver Washington, October 13, 2008— On Saturday, October 11, Craig Henderson smashed his old World book record (103.7MPG) and set a new world record in fuel economy (113.1MPG) when he drove his lightweight and aerodynamic automobile – the Avion –from the Canadian border to the Oregon border.

    Henderson, a native of Bellingham, WA, completed the first Avion prototype in 1984 and drove into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1986, after a border-to-border trip that averaged 103.7 miles per gallon. In that record-setting trip, he drove along the West Coast from Mexico to Canada.

    This time, he started at the Canadian border (Bellingham Wa.) at 7:25 morning of October 11 and ending at the Oregon border at Fort Vancouver at 1:00. Henderson traveled 263.1 miles and used 2.326 gallons of diesel averaging 113.1 miles per gallon, even getting stuck twice in Seattle traffic

    Henderson is a contender in the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. He is among more than 120 teams from 28 states and 17 countries who signed a letter of intent to compete for their share of a $10 million prize purse, which will be awarded to those that can design and build production-capable, 100 MPGe (miles per gallon energy equivalent) vehicles that people will want to buy and that meet market needs for price, size, capability, safety and performance.

    “The Avion is fun to drive, and it gets great mileage,” says Henderson with understated pride. “Our car has achieved 113.1 mpg, driving on I-5 from Canada border to the Oregon border. That’s pretty amazing, especially considering we designed and built it over twenty five years ago.”

    “I am thrilled to be able to break our old record. This was a personal goal achieved for me and now we set our sites on the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. We are in the process of building another car to compete and hopefully win the X PRIZE and we are seeking corporate or personal sponsorship to help us meet or goals,” Henderson said.

    For more information about the Avion, please visit http://www.100mpgplus.com or email craig@100mpgplus.com or call Craig Henderson 360-303-4790.

    The Avion is among six Washington state teams who hope to win the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. Other teams from the Pacific Northwest who have signed letters of intent to compete include Western Washington University of Bellingham, WA; Commuter Cars of Spokane, WA; and Kinetic Vehicles of Creswell, OR. Additional competitors include India’s Tata Motors, TTW of Turin, Italy, Tesla Motors of San Carlos, CA and Cornell University of Ithaca, NY.

    About the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Competition:

    The goal of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices. Ten million dollars in prizes will be awarded to the teams that win a stage race for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPGe.

    The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will place a major focus on affordability, safety, and the environment. It is about developing real, production-capable cars that consumers want to buy, not science projects or concept cars. This progress is needed because today’s oil consumption is unsustainable and because automotive emissions significantly contribute to global warming and climate change.

    For more information about the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, please visit http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org or email progressiveautopress@xprize.org.

    ###

  • Contact: Carrie Fox 202.255.9214

    Carrie.Fox@xprize.org

    113.1 Miles Per Gallon!

    Bellingham Man Sets New World Record for Fuel Economy in Drive from Canada to Oregon

    Avion- the Lightweight Sports Car from Bellingham, WA, Sets New World Record of 113.1 MPG

    Vancouver Washington, October 13, 2008— On Saturday, October 11, Craig Henderson smashed his old World book record (103.7MPG) and set a new world record in fuel economy (113.1MPG) when he drove his lightweight and aerodynamic automobile – the Avion –from the Canadian border to the Oregon border.

    Henderson, a native of Bellingham, WA, completed the first Avion prototype in 1984 and drove into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1986, after a border-to-border trip that averaged 103.7 miles per gallon. In that record-setting trip, he drove along the West Coast from Mexico to Canada.

    This time, he started at the Canadian border (Bellingham Wa.) at 7:25 morning of October 11 and ending at the Oregon border at Fort Vancouver at 1:00. Henderson traveled 263.1 miles and used 2.326 gallons of diesel averaging 113.1 miles per gallon, even getting stuck twice in Seattle traffic

    Henderson is a contender in the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. He is among more than 120 teams from 28 states and 17 countries who signed a letter of intent to compete for their share of a $10 million prize purse, which will be awarded to those that can design and build production-capable, 100 MPGe (miles per gallon energy equivalent) vehicles that people will want to buy and that meet market needs for price, size, capability, safety and performance.

    “The Avion is fun to drive, and it gets great mileage,” says Henderson with understated pride. “Our car has achieved 113.1 mpg, driving on I-5 from Canada border to the Oregon border. That’s pretty amazing, especially considering we designed and built it over twenty five years ago.”

    “I am thrilled to be able to break our old record. This was a personal goal achieved for me and now we set our sites on the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. We are in the process of building another car to compete and hopefully win the X PRIZE and we are seeking corporate or personal sponsorship to help us meet or goals,” Henderson said.

    For more information about the Avion, please visit http://www.100mpgplus.com or email craig@100mpgplus.com or call Craig Henderson 360-303-4790.

    The Avion is among six Washington state teams who hope to win the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. Other teams from the Pacific Northwest who have signed letters of intent to compete include Western Washington University of Bellingham, WA; Commuter Cars of Spokane, WA; and Kinetic Vehicles of Creswell, OR. Additional competitors include India’s Tata Motors, TTW of Turin, Italy, Tesla Motors of San Carlos, CA and Cornell University of Ithaca, NY.

    About the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Competition:

    The goal of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices. Ten million dollars in prizes will be awarded to the teams that win a stage race for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPGe.

    The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will place a major focus on affordability, safety, and the environment. It is about developing real, production-capable cars that consumers want to buy, not science projects or concept cars. This progress is needed because today’s oil consumption is unsustainable and because automotive emissions significantly contribute to global warming and climate change.

    For more information about the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, please visit http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org or email progressiveautopress@xprize.org.

    ###

  • Uncle B

    Once Obama’s all electric bullet train intercity network (full 400 % more efficient) replaces flights, and long distance car voyages, we will need short distance, Uber- high mileage or even all-electric cars to do the short haul stuff! Next an electric plug-in truck with a Mercedes blue TEC engine or better, for their short haul stuff and we are almost off of foreign oil and no longer have to support parasite nations just to transport things in America, folks! What a break for an ailing American economy. America no longer has oil of its own. We have the whole South Western U.S.A. for Solar! We have the Prairie Corridor for Wind, We have off-shore and shoreline Wind, we have Tidal galore – as yet untouched! We have Geothermal sitting in the ground – wasting away – all because we are addicted to and obsessed with oil. This picture has to change if America is to become strong again. Remember too, all these sources are natural and perpetual – once tapped, they never run dry, like oil wells do! They keep on producing forever, just like the Hoover Dam! No re-fueling necessary! Just keep that in mind for your next water-cooler arguments!

  • Uncle B

    Once Obama’s all electric bullet train intercity network (full 400 % more efficient) replaces flights, and long distance car voyages, we will need short distance, Uber- high mileage or even all-electric cars to do the short haul stuff! Next an electric plug-in truck with a Mercedes blue TEC engine or better, for their short haul stuff and we are almost off of foreign oil and no longer have to support parasite nations just to transport things in America, folks! What a break for an ailing American economy. America no longer has oil of its own. We have the whole South Western U.S.A. for Solar! We have the Prairie Corridor for Wind, We have off-shore and shoreline Wind, we have Tidal galore – as yet untouched! We have Geothermal sitting in the ground – wasting away – all because we are addicted to and obsessed with oil. This picture has to change if America is to become strong again. Remember too, all these sources are natural and perpetual – once tapped, they never run dry, like oil wells do! They keep on producing forever, just like the Hoover Dam! No re-fueling necessary! Just keep that in mind for your next water-cooler arguments!