Green Google Invests in Environmentally Friendly Plug-in Cars

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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, 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.”

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  • Brian

    what people are forgetting here is that all electric plug-in cars are by no means “zero-emissions.” yes, the concept of an all electric vehicle is wonderful, and yes, in and of itself the car is zero emissions. However, what people forget is that nearly 50% of electricity in the USA is generated from coal, which is not clean at all! And since plug-cars will be using this coal-generated electricity to power the car–NOT ZERO EMISSIONS!!I read a comparison study between electric and gas, and this is what they found.

    A Corolla gets 30-35 mpg (i forget what the average number was for their study). Which means for 100 miles of driving, they burned 3.23 gallons of gasoline, which equates to about 60 pounds (yes, pounds) of carbon dioxide.

    On an all electric car, 100 miles can be driven with about 31 kW-hours. I read 1.5 pounds of co2 are created per kWh, which equates to nearly 50 pounds of CO2 from an all electric, “zero-emissions” car. Conclusion: all electrics are not as good for the environment as people claim!!

    Now, keep in mind, this study was done with a Toyota Corolla, a non-hybrid car. Let’s say it’s compared to a prius, which gets 50 mpg. Since 50 mpg is 5/3 times the 30mpg that a corolla gets, that means the prius uses 3/5 the gas to go 100 miles, which also means it generates 3/5 the CO2 that the corolla does, which is about 36pounds of CO2 per 100 miles of driving. Therefore, a prius generates about 14pounds less (28% less) CO2 than a “zero emissions” car!!! So from the current energy situation, the electric cars are almost as bad as some normal gas cars, but they just pollute thru different means (normal cars burn the gasoline and create CO2 right from the engine, while ‘zero emissions’ cars pollute by burning coal to generate the electricity to begin with).