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Google Launches RechargeIT: 100+ PHEVs, $1M Grants, $10M Investments
Jun 19, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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Many people have been waiting to see what would come next from Silicon Valley on PHEVs. Today at a public/ media briefing, and announced broad plans, introduced the first cars in its PHEV fleet, and gave a live demonstration of vehicle-to-grid using its massive solar installation.

The program, called RechargeIT ("Recharge a Car, Recharge the Grid, Recharge the Planet," is at Start there with a live map of the data from our page, "Where PHEVs are." Then see a five-minute video, "Recharge a Car," running on YouTube, including's Larry Brilliant and Dan Reicher , Google's Alec Proudfoot, CalCarsFormer CIA Director James Woolsey, Plug In America's Chelsea Sexton of Plug In America and University of Delaware Prof. Willet Kempton. Then look around at data on Google's cars and much more background information.

This is an extremely significant development, with some breakthrough partnerships. We'll have more to say later, and look soon for event photos at To start, here's the official announcement:

Google Launches RechargeIT Plug-In Hybrid Car Initiative and Unveils
Solar Installation to Fund More Than $10 Million to Accelerate Plug-In Hybrid
and Vehicle-to-Grid Technology
June 18, 2007 05:05 PM EDT

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE), the philanthropic arm of Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), today announced the RechargeIT initiative­recharge that 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, 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, Calif. 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.

At today's event, Google teamed with PG&E to demonstrate the bi-directional flow of electricity between plug-ins and the electric grid. "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," said Dr. Larry Brilliant, Executive Director of

The RechargeIT Initiative includes several elements designed to advance plug-in development and commercialization, including:

-- Grants: announced grants to the following organizations:

-- 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 Delaware­cms/­wkempton: $150,000 for megawatt scale vehicle-to-grid research and implementation planning.

-- $10M RFP: Later this summer 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. We are 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. We believe that our investments in green vehicle technology commercialization, coupled with additional R&D and policy grants, will help accelerate progress in addressing the climate and energy challenges of today's 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 at­recharge. 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.

"Google is committed to using its resources to help solve the global climate challenge," said Dr. Brilliant. " 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."

Today's news closely follows Google's sponsorship of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting aggressive new targets for energy-efficient computers. Climate Savers and today's RechargeIT illustrate Google's commitment to reduce its environmental impact as a company and to protect the environment.

About, the philanthropic arm of Google, uses the power of information to help people better their lives. We develop and invest in tools and partnerships that can help bring shared knowledge to bear on the world's most pressing challenges in the areas of climate change, economic development and global health. For more information, visit

About Google Inc. Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit

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