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Google Launches RechargeIT: 100+ PHEVs, $1M Grants, $10M Investments

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  • Felix Kramer
    Many people have been waiting to see what would come next from Silicon Valley on PHEVs. Today at a public/ media briefing, Google.org and Google.com announced
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 18 7:40 PM
      Many people have been waiting to see what would come next from
      Silicon Valley on PHEVs. Today at a public/ media briefing,
      Google.org and Google.com 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 <http://www.rechargeit.org>. 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 Google.org'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 CalCars.org. To start, here's the official announcement:

      Google Launches RechargeIT Plug-In Hybrid Car Initiative and Unveils
      Solar Installation
      Google.org 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)--Google.org, the philanthropic
      arm of Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), today announced the RechargeIT
      initiative <http://www.google.org/recharge> 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, Google.org 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 Google.org.

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

      -- Grants: Google.org announced grants to the following organizations:

      -- Brookings Institution <http://www.brookings.edu>: $200,000 to
      support a spring 2008 conference on federal policy to promote

      -- CalCars <http://www.calcars.org>: $200,000 to support its work
      to educate the public about plug-ins;

      -- Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI)
      <http://www.epri.org>: $200,000 to support its plug-in research
      and development program;

      -- Plug-In America <http://www.pluginamerica.org>: $100,000 to
      raise public awareness and advocate for plug-in transportation;

      -- Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) <http://www.RMI.org>: $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

      -- Dr. Willett Kempton, University of Delaware
      <http://www.ocean.udel.edu/cms/wkempton>: $150,000 for megawatt
      scale vehicle-to-grid research and implementation planning.

      -- $10M RFP: Later this summer Google.org 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 at <http://www.google.org/recharge>. 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

      -- 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. "Google.org 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 <http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org>,
      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 Google.org
      Google.org, 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 <http://www.google.org>.

      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 <http://www.google.com>.

      Google and Google.org are trademarks of Google Inc. in the United
      States and/or other countries. All other company and product names
      may be trademarks of respective companies with which they are associated.

      Contacts: see original BusinessWire URL:

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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