Through its nonprofit arm, Google.org, the company is taking up the cause of electric vehicles. Appropriately enough, its approach is two-pronged. Google is pursuing both plug-in hybrid technology, which lets you charge your car from a wall socket, and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, which sends energy generated within your car back into the electrical grid. The company has pledged $10 million in grants, and it's stocking its corporate fleet with plug-in hybrid vehicles to demonstrate the technology's effectiveness.
Plug-in hybrids aren't quite like the technology found in vehicles like the Toyota
I can see both great benefits and challenges to tying together our power and transportation systems. On the plus side, electric car owners would never have to drive to the Chevron
However, such a system would also make our vehicles dependent upon electrical networks that, in some regions, are strained enough at it is. A world running on plug-in hybrids could even compound the damaging effects of blackouts on the economy. If Google's aiming to change the way we use our cars, perhaps they can overhaul the electric grid while they're at it.
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Fool contributor Toby Shute now lives by the slogan "Have MacBook, will travel." He doesn't own shares in any company mentioned. iRobot is a Rule Breakers recommendation. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy never suffers blackouts.