This Tuesday (June 19, 2007) Google announced that it awarded $1 million in grants and will be inviting applicants to apply for $10 million in funds to help develop plug-in type hybrid vehicles that get at least 70-100mpg. The grants are part of the RechargeIT Initiative being run by Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org.

The project aims to impact climate change (one of Google.org’s three primary goals) by aiding the development of hybrid vehicles which would reduce our dependency on oil, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and probably ultimately reduce consumers’ costs.

Google is seeking to accelerate not only the adoption of hybrid cars, but also the development and deployment of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies, which would help to stabilize the power grid. Basically, as such cars begin to use renewable sources of energy for power generation (such as solar energy), they will be able to sell back to power companies any excess electricity they produce, thus making the grid cleaner. Google is already implementing a solar program for its fleet of hybrids and planning to use it as a demonstration of the efficiency of such technology. Read more…

Two-thirds of global emissions come from energy consumption, therefore addressing the climate crisis requires radical changes in energy production. In the future, through V2G technology, fossil fuel consumption by vehicles and power plants may be significantly reduced or eliminated altogether. Such technology may solve the “problem” of, or significantly reduce the costs involved in, converting power plants to greener technologies. Read more…

Google will make a formal request for proposals (RFP) on their website later this summer for the $10 million worth of awards “for investment opportunities in companies and projects accelerating the commercialization of alternative transportation that reduces vehicle fossil fuel use and climate emissions”.

To see a list of recipients of the $1 million dollars in grants, go to http://www.google.org/recharge/partners.html.

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