Google has invested an undisclosed sum in two U.S. companies developing technologies for plug-in electric vehicles. The investment is a part of the company’s “RechargeIT” initiative begun in 2007 to help speed up the adoption of electric transportation.
The two lucky companies receiving Google’s support are ActaCell of Austin, TX and Aptera Motors of Carlsbad, CA. ActaCell is currently working on commercializing lithium-ion battery technology that was first developed at the University of Texas at Austin. It promises improved battery life, lower cost batteries. and increased safety. Aptera is building ultra-high efficiency vehicles based on improving aerodynamics and composite materials. Aptera’s first prototype got 230 miles per gallon of gas, and they are now using the design to build two additional versions: an all-electric model, and a plug-in hybrid model.
Investing in these two companies is the first investment Google has made for the RechargeIT iniative.
Karl Sun, an investments principle at Google.org, said:
“Both of these innovative companies and their capable teams are working to develop technology that is crucial to helping us realise the RechargeIT vision of millions of plug-in vehicles on the road.”