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Summary:

Google’s got a handful of plug-in electric hybrids that it’s been testing on the roads for over a year now through its employee car-share program. But since many Googlers just take the cars out for a local spin, the search engine giant recently decided to complete […]

Google’s got a handful of plug-in electric hybrids that it’s been testing on the roads for over a year now through its employee car-share program. But since many Googlers just take the cars out for a local spin, the search engine giant recently decided to complete a 7-week test of its plug-is in real world driving conditions. Now, nicely timed for the Plug-In 2008 conference this week, Google says its plug-ins “did great” and achieved as high as 93 MPG across all trips and 115 MPG for city trips.

That 90+ MPG was specifically for the plug-in Prius. The Ford Escape plug-in and the non plug-in Prius fare about half as well. See the comparison graph below to see how the contenders stacked up.

Google is already investing $10 million into its RechargeIT plug-in vehicle program, and told us recently that the company plans to make investments into green cars this summer through the plug-in program. The Google RechargeIT team also made this short video clip to explain what their 7-week drive test was all about:

  1. The MPG figures are misleading because they don’t incorporate the energy used from electricity. When I drove a plug-in for a week, I could get 400 MPG because the engine hardly ever kicked in, but obviously I used a lot of juice from the battery. There’s got to be a way to blend the electricity use and gas use to come up with an MPG-equivalent measurement. For example, you can’t use MPG with an all-electric car, so how to you compare mileage of an all-electric to that of a plug-in?

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  2. [...] Google.org has had its plug-in vehicle research and development program for over a year now, moving to investing in startups is significant. Like Google has done for infotech startups, and [...]

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  3. @Tyler
    exactly! the report needs to compare carbon emissions of gasoline consumed by ICE versus coal used to generate the electricity by the plug-in’s

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  4. Google may be using some form of mpg equivalent for the electric only portion. As an eg. the EPA’s formula gives electric cars a reward for the economic benefits of not using gas and they show some EV’s as having mpg equivalents of up to 300 mpg.

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  5. [...] An engineer with Google.org’s RechargeIT green car program, Rolf Schreiber, told us Google is interested in Aptera is because its vehicles go “to the extreme of high-efficiency,” and are overall “cool,” and “modern.” Schreiber headed up Google.org’s recent plug-in vehicle driving test that found its plug-in Prius’ achieved over 93 MPG. [...]

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