Google Puts $10M Towards Sustainable Transport

    September 13, 2007

If these products come to your local car dealerships, they’ll need to have a better name than “sustainable transportation solutions.”  But by issuing a $10 million request for proposals (RFP), Google intends to give the products an improved chance of making it that far.

“The charge for electrified transportation is heating up, and we couldn’t be more excited,” wrote Kirsten Olsen on the Official Blog.  “But consumers still can’t buy plug-in vehicles – and that’s a problem.  It’s time for us to put some money where our mouth is and help accelerate mass commercialization of plug-in vehicles.”

The market caps of Toyota, General Motors, and Ford combine to a total of around $215 billion, however, so $10 million, in and of itself, may not be of much help.  Olsen recognized this, and explained, “[W]e hope this RFP will help catalyze a broader response.  We need the automakers to bring these cars to market, but plug-in vehicles also need an entire ecosystem of companies to flourish.”

Google’s announcement has had heads turning all over the Web, so the search giant may well achieve that goal.  Also, proposals are due by October 22, so it may not be terribly long before we find out one way or the other.

And if – or when – the products make it to the marketplace, perhaps “sustainable transport solutions” isn’t so bad, after all.  Shortened to “STS,” the name is even catchy enough that Cadillac saw fit to slap it on a bunch of $40,000 sedans.