Feeds

Google gets into green transport policy

Prince Charles style move by ad colossus

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Noted bot-vs-bot information nexus Google has joined Prince Charles in swerving away from core business to offer environment strategies.

The internet ad-men have had a scratch of their heads, and reckon they've got the answers to green transportation and energy use. To be specific, the Google flavour of green involves plug-in hybrid cars, rooftop solar panels and smarter power grids.

A plug-in hybrid, as opposed to a normal hybrid car like the successful Toyota Prius, has a bigger battery pack able to store more electrical power - and this larger battery can be plugged into a power socket to charge up. The plug-in hybrid operates "primarily on electricity for the first 20-40 miles ... and since more than 70 per cent of Americans drive less than 33 miles per day, many will not use any gasoline in their daily commutes," according to Google. Longer trips would still be possible, drawing on the car's combustion engine.

"Integration of hybrid cars with the electric power grid could reduce gasoline consumption by 85 billion gallons per year," the company adds.

"That’s equal to a 27 per cent reduction in total U.S. greenhouse gases, 52 per cent displacement potential of U.S. oil imports, and $270 billion avoided in gasoline expenses."

Of course, it might throw a bit of a load on the electricity grid, which could easily translate to increased carbon emissions from power plants. Google reckon that there won't be a need for any new plants, though.

"Even without adding any new power plants, the existing U.S. electrical grid has sufficient capacity to fully fuel three quarters of the nation’s 217 million passenger vehicles, assuming the average car drives 33 miles per day," say the ad-men.

This would be because plug-in hybrids would be charged up mainly at night, when demand for electricity is low and existing powerplants have spare capacity.

Google also reckons that "Vehicle to Grid," (V2G) tech would be a good idea. The firm said that plug-in hybrids parked with juice in their batteries at times of high demand could sell power back into the grid, and utility companies wouldn't need to fire up dirty standby generation plants. They think that plug-in hybrid owners might make $2-3,000 a year like this, though they'd presumably have to drive home from work burning petrol because their batteries were flat.

In fact, on the face of it V2G would appear to transfer workday peak burden from utility-company standby generators out of town to car engines in the cities, at least in the case of daily commuters. The standby power would have to be pretty dirty for that to make sense. Maybe the Googlers are on about cars which do an average of ten miles or less each day, and would be able to spare some juice as well as do the day's work. In that case, though, why not just leave your spare battery capacity at home rather than lugging it back and forth every day?

It's all very puzzling.

Google are also very proud of their rooftop solar panels, which deliver "30 per cent of Google's peak electricity demand in our solar powered buildings at our Mountain View, CA headquarters."

Much more from Google here

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.