Mountain View, California – (The Hosting News) – July 2, 2007 – Google has launched its new RechargeIT Plug-In Hybrid Car Initiative. While unveiling solar installation, the philanthropic arm of Google Inc., Google.org, has announced plans to fund over $10 million to accelerate plug-in hybrid and vehicle-to-grid technology.
The RechargeIT initiative aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil dependence by accelerating the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (”plug-ins”). As part of this initiative, Google.org awarded $1 million in grants and announced plans for a $10 million request for proposals (RFP) to fund development, adoption and commercialization of plug-ins, fully electric cars and related vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
In addition, Google Inc. announced that it has switched on the solar panel installation at its Mountain View, California headquarters, which will help the company reduce its environmental footprint and power its plug-ins with clean solar electricity. At 1.6 megawatts – and with an electricity output capable of powering approximately 1,000 average California homes – the Google project is the largest solar installation to date on any corporate campus in the United States and one of the largest on any corporate site in the world.
Google recently teamed with PG and E to demonstrate the bi-directional flow of electricity between plug-ins and the electric grid. Dr. Larry Brilliant, Executive Director of Google.org offered, ”Clean energy technology can dramatically shift how we make and use energy for our cars and homes by charging cars through an electric grid powered by solar or other renewable energy sources, and selling power back to the electric grid when it’s needed most. This approach can quadruple the fuel efficiency of cars on the road today and improve grid stability.”
The RechargeIT Initiative includes several elements designed to advance plug-in development and commercialization, including:
- Grants: Google.org announced grants to the following organizations:
- Brookings Institution (www.brookings.edu): $200,000 to support a spring 2008 conference on federal policy to promote plug-ins;
- CalCars (www.calcars.org): $200,000 to support its work to educate the public about plug-ins;
- Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) (www.epri.org ): $200,000 to support its plug-in research and development program;
- Plug-In America (www.pluginamerica.org): $100,000 to raise public awareness and advocate for plug-in transportation;
- Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) (www.rmi.org): $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 (www.ocean.udel.edu/cms/wkempton): $150,000 for megawatt scale vehicle-to-grid research and implementation planning.
- $10M RFP: Later this summer, Google.org will publish a formal request for proposals (RFP) on our website, focused on investment opportunities in companies and projects accelerating the commercialization of alternative transportation that reduces vehicle fossil fuel use and climate emissions. The company is looking to invest approximately $10 million in technologies and companies featuring plug in hybrids, fully electric vehicles, vehicle-to-grid capabilities, batteries and other storage technologies, and the application of renewable energy and fuels to green vehicles. The company believes that its investments in green vehicle technology commercialization, coupled with additional R and D and policy grants, will help accelerate progress in addressing the climate and energy challenges of the transportation sector.
- Plug-In Data Project: To demonstrate the potential of this new technology, Google has partnered with A123Systems/Hymotion to convert a small fleet of hybrid cars into plug-ins and published preliminary performance data at www.rechargeit.org. The experimental fleet of plug-in Prius models has averaged 74mpg to date, compared with 41mpg for the test fleet of non-plug-in Prius hybrids.
- Google Fleet: Through a partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the Google Fleet is a program designed to support alternative commuting through a free car-sharing program that will be offered to Google employees. The program will eventually expand to include 100 plug-ins as they become available.
Dr. Brilliant continued, ”Google is committed to using its resources to help solve the global climate challenge. Google.org is a hybrid philanthropy, bringing together the active engagement of the broader Google corporation, as well as investments in for-profits, traditional grants, policy work, and public information. RechargeIT brings together all of these elements to help accelerate progress on plug-ins. By demonstrating new clean energy technologies and how they can be connected to the grid, we hope to spur demand and encourage car manufacturers to make these vehicles commercially available on a large scale on an urgent basis.”
These latest developments closely follow Google’s sponsorship of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (www.climatesaverscomputing.org), which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting aggressive new targets for energy-efficient computers.
Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, endeavors to use the power of information to help people better their lives, by developing and investing in tools and partnerships that are hoped to bring shared knowledge to bear on the world’s most pressing challenges in the areas of climate change, economic development and global health.
With the largest index of websites available on the World Wide Web and the industry’s most advanced search technology, Google Inc. delivers the fastest and easiest way to find relevant information on the Internet. Google’s technological innovations have earned the company numerous industry awards and citations, including two Webby Awards; two WIRED magazine Readers Raves Awards; Best Internet Innovation and Technical Excellence Award from PC Magazine; Best Search Engine on the Internet from Yahoo! Internet Life; Top Ten Best Cybertech from TIME magazine; and Editor’s Pick from CNET. A growing number of companies worldwide, including Yahoo! and its international properties, Sony Corporation and its global affiliates, AOL/Netscape, and Cisco Systems, rely on Google to power search on their websites. A privately held company based in Mountain View, Calif., Google’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Sequoia Capital.
For more information about Google.org, please visit: www.google.org.
To learn more about he RechargeIT initiative, please visit: www.rechargeit.org.
For more information about Google, please visit: www.google.com.