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.