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June 21, 2007

Google The Electric Company & Car Company?

By Li Evans

Googlealteredprius A few months ago, Google made headlines with the installation of their 1.6 megawatt solar power system, on Monday they added another side to their "Green" efforts.  Google's Philanthropic arm, Google.org, invested $1 million into developing a "vehicle-to-grid" system which allows hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius, to be plugged into grid for charging, or for selling back electricity.

Google claims that the already eco-friendly Prius which gets well over 40 mpg without the "vehicle-to-grid" alterations, will get up to 70 mpg once the alternations are done.  Not only will the higher gas mileage be a draw to the conservationist side of society, but the ability to sell back the stored electricity (quite possibly up to $3,000 a year) to Pacific Gas & Electric Company will appeal to those on the "Froogle" (hey, I could resist!) side.

Google calls this project RechargeIT and states  the following about its goals for the vehicle fleet its created:

"Recharge a Car: Google.org is working with A123 Systems and Hymotion to convert our growing fleet of hybrid cars into plug-in hybrids and to collect performance data to demonstrate their efficiency."

And just to wrap this all up - Google's even produced a video to demonstrate both how the cars works and its benefits.  It really can make one sit and wonder about what would happen if a lot more companies took the initiatives Google has.


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