Sweet mama! Google.org is going to give vehicle-to-grid technology a much-needed boost, to the tune of $10 million.
The company is going to modify six cars, a mix of Toyota Priuses and Ford Escape hybrids, with batteries that can draw juice from the grid and feed juice back in. The promise of this technology is that if it spreads, it will enable distributed electricity storage that can smooth spikes in electricity demand without expensive new generation plants. That means less new dirty coal. Every energy wonk I know has high hopes around V2G.
And Google’s innovative philanthropy has just the combination of smarts, cultural cachet, and brass balls to get things rolling.
The batteries they’re using are from A123 Systems, the hot-shit name in next-gen lithium ion hybrid batteries right now,
the same outfit that’s supplying the batteries for the Tesla roadster [oops, that’s wrong — Tesla’s making its own batteries; A123 is working with GM and some other companies].
I have a feeling V2G is going to be the spark that starts a cascade of inventions around energy storage, energy efficiency, and smart grids. This could be the moment historians mark as the starting gun. Larry Brilliant is living up to his name again.
Here’s a short video about the project: