Google Develops Fleet Of Fuel-Efficient Cars

    June 19, 2007

Want to improve your car’s efficiency?  Maybe you should hand the keys over to Google; in conjunction with Hymotion/A123Systems, the search engine giant has developed “a small fleet of plug-in hybrids,” and the vehicles have demonstrated a striking ability to slurp less gas.

For those of you hoping to see some exotic prototypes, sorry.  For those of you worried about seeing some exotic prototypes (which are frequently expensive and unable to perform in real-world conditions), rest easy – a picture provided by Google shows a normal-looking Toyota Prius.  The only unusual feature is an extension cord coming out of the rear bumper.

This cord allows the car to charge its batteries before not-really-charging into the world.  Yet, even if Priuses will never be the world’s fastest automobiles, they can keep up with the pack, and Dan Reicher,’s Director of Climate and Energy Initiatives, announced, “In the preliminary results from our test fleet, on average the plug-in hybrid gas mileage was 30+ mpg higher than that of the regular hybrids.”

Furthermore, “Since most Americans drive less than 35 miles per day, you easily could drive mostly on electricity with the gas tank as a ‘safety net,’” Reicher writes on the Official Google Blog.

Google’s always talking about conservation, but it’s nice to see some concrete results.  Also, as a car guy, it’s especially nice to see those results resting on four wheels.  More details about the fleet can be found within a YouTube video, but this shouldn’t be the last time you hear about those vehicles; according to a press release, will “fund more than $10 million to accelerate plug-in hybrid and vehicle-to-grid technology.”