Over the past year we’ve reported on several so-called V2G schemes, in which plug-in hybrid owners could charge their vehicles during off-peak hours and sell power from their vehicles back to the public grid at high-demand times, possibly providing more stability to the grid if the system were designed smartly.
Now Google’s involved. The company recently had six hybrids — four Toyota Prius and two Ford Escape hybrid models — retrofit as plug-in hybrids. With a number of changes to their electrical componentry and software, so that they can run farther and faster on electric power before starting their gasoline engines, the hybrids post substantial fuel economy gains. The Prius can cover up to 75 miles per gallon as reconfigured. Google is tracking data on these versus stock hybrids and hopes to eventually expand its demonstration fleet to over 100 plug-ins.
The vehicles are using the Hymotion conversion already available from A123 Systems, a
One of the vehicles, a Prius, has been configured for two-way power flow and can transmit data on its power systems. With this, Pacific Gas & Electric, a northern
Google Monday also unveiled a system of solar panels, effectively covering nearly all the roof space at its offices in
Regularly updated information about the plug-in hybrid fleet can be seen at www.RechargeIT.org.
Li-ion Not Ready for Prius by Bengt Halvorson (6/13/2007)
Higher-mileage batteries no longer part of the plan — at least initially.
GM Signs Two to Build Volt Batteries by Marty Padgett (6/5/2007)
New batteries would power hybrid or fuel-cell vehicles.
Tesla to Develop Chargers by Bengt Halvorson (5/29/2007)
They won’t involve a HEMI, but they may create a buzz.
Cargirl: On CO2, Something’s Gonna Give by Kate McLeod (5/9/2007)
The CO2 argument is moving, like it or not.