Google Turns Green, Launches Rechargeit

by Evander Klum - Date: 2007-06-25 - Word Count: 350 Share This!

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global dependence on oil, internet giant Google has launched its new RechargeIT initiative to promote the development of plug-in hybrid electric cars.

Under the guidance of Google's own philanthropic team, the new initiative will award $1 million in grants and a further $10 million to fund the development and eventual commercialization of plug-in hybrids.

According to the company's press release, this is how the first million will be spent:
* 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.

Too Not only is Google interested in creating a reliable plug-in hybrid, its new initiative will also support the development of a sustainable electricity grid. Under the proposal, owners would be able to sell back unused energy when power across the grid is running low.

Partnering with A123Systems-Hymotion, Google has already tested a fleet of Toyota Prius vehicles that were converted into plug-in hybrids. In the initial tests, the fleet's fuel efficiency averaged 74mpg, stark contrast to the 41mpg for the test fleet of non-plug-in Prius cars.

Google also announced the start-up of the solar panel installation at Google HQ to power the plug-in vehicles it already has. The new solar panel installation at its Mountain View headquarters in California should develop up to 1.6 megawatts of power - enough to power roughly 1,000 homes.

Google employees will also be able to get free car sharing through Google Fleet. This fleet will get 100 PHEVs when they're available.

Too bad Honda (maker of quality Honda car bra) has decided to discontinue its Honda Accord hybrids.

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Evander Klum is a Business Administration graduate who hails from Alabama. He enjoys extreme sports and he is also a car racing fanatic. At present, he works as a marketing manager at an advertising agency in Cleveland.

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