Google's Plug-In Electric Car Project

While Google is busy being a power company, a cleantech VC and an all-round eco do-gooder, the search giant is also working on its plug-in electric vehicle project, on which it plans to spend $10 million and has converted four Toyota Priuses and two Ford Escape hybrids to plug-in cars. On Thursday, good ol’ Googs launched a blog to follow its electric vehicle project and track the industry. [digg=http://digg.com/environment/Google_s_Plug_In_Electric_Car_Project]

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As you can see from the data above, Google is tracking all of the cars to figure out how productive plug-ins really are. The system uses a laptop to collect data on speed, distance driven, fuel use and battery info, and uploads the data via a wireless data card to Google’s servers. GPS is also used to plot geography and potentially measure the performance at different altitudes. And during charging, the system records the AC charge power.

Google says:

Once all the data is uploaded to our servers, any necessary calculations are done (such as calculating CO2), and the data is graphed and displayed on our website. Data is available at the fleet level, individual car level and event the trip level. If you would like to dig deeper, soon you will able to download the raw data from any trip to do additional analysis offline.

Now that is really cool. The more transparency for proving (or refuting) the productivity of plug-in electric vehicles the better!

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