Google and Pacific Gas unveil Hybrid “Plug-in” Vehicles in Green Car Initiative

Toyota Prius and Google.org Logo This Monday, Google together with Pacific Gas & Electric unveiled their vision of a future in which cars and tracks are partly powered by America’s electric grids and vice versa. These hybrid vehicles require to be “plugged-in” to be charged by solar energy.

Yes, the search giant has opened its philanthropic arms with plans to shell out more than $10 million in grants to support hybrid cars. This announcement follows one that took place last week when the company launched an industry-wide initiative to improve energy efficiency of PCs and servers.

For those who are unaware, plug-ins are nothing but hybrid cars that users can drive in an all-electric mode for around 30 miles, after which they need to rely on the gas engine. Plug-in hybrid cars can lower emissions of carbon dioxide and smog-causing gases.

As part of Monday’s announcement, the two companies showcased six Toyota Prius and ford Escape hybrid vehicles that were modified partly on electricity from the power grid, allowing them to go up to 120km on just a gallon of gas. These figures represent nearly double the miles of a regular hybrid car.

What’s more; Google and Pacific Gas & Electricity also modified one car to give electricity back to the power company.

Many may not know that at the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif., solar panels produce 1.6 megawatts of energy, which is just about enough to supply around one-third of Google’s energy use on the campus. Interestingly, these solar panels at Google’s campus happen to be the largest solar installation on a corporate campus in the whole of the US.

Besides, Google also unveiled a new employee parking garage in which drivers can charge their plug-in cars, powering up their batteries using solar energy.

This announcement by Google was part of the launch of the RechargeIT initiatives by Google.org, which is the philanthropic arm of the company, and surely has come at a right time, when the whole world, including tech companies are trying to go the green way because of global warming.