New Google philanthropy aims to build super-efficient hybrid car

If you’re tired of waiting for bold innovation from big automakers, help is on the way from, of all places, iconic search firm Google. The company’s founders have established a controversial for-profit philanthropy,, which will focus on poverty, disease, and global warming. One of its first projects will be the development of a super-efficient hybrid car that will run on any combination of ethanol, gasoline, and electricity. Free from the restraints imposed on traditional nonprofit charitable foundations, could potentially start a company to sell the car, partner with venture capitalists, or lobby lawmakers. But while it can make money, that’s not the point, says newly tapped executive director Larry Brilliant: “We’re not doing it for the profit. And if we didn’t get our capital back, so what? The emphasis is on social returns, not economic returns.”’s unorthodox structure has elicited some dismay and criticism from both the corporate and philanthropy worlds, but it certainly seems to make good on the company’s famous slogan: “Don’t be evil.”