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

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

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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.