Google.org, the for-profit philanthropic arm of Google, announced
that it will give $1 million in grants as part of a new initiative dubbed RechargeIT, that seeks to develop plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with both a gasoline engine and batteries that can be recharged by plugging into the U.S. electric grid. The search giant also completed a project to install solar panels at the company's Mountain View headquarters.
The company also said it's dedicating an additional $10 million to developing this technology and, on Monday, activated the largest solar-power installation on a U.S. corporate campus, capable of generating enough juice to meet about a third of the power needed for Google's headquarters.
"We think this is something [plug-in hybrids] we need to be pushing very, very hard because it answers so many problems the world faces right now," he said.
Google.org claims that if all U.S. cars on the road by 2025 were hybrids, current daily oil consumption would drop from 10m to 2m barrels per day, thus reducing overseas oil dependency while promoting clean energy technologies.
This not the first of Google's environmental initiatives, the company recently sponsored the Climate Savers Computing Initiative along with Intel and other industry leaders, to promote the adoption of energy-efficient computers in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming.