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GOOGLE TO GIVE TEN MILLION IN GRANTS TO HELP COMMERCIALIZE PLUG-IN HYBRIDS AND FULLY ELECTRIC VEHICLES.

GOOGLE IS BACKING FUEL-EFFICIENT, HYBRID CARS AS PART OF A PLAN TO MAKE THE ENTIRE FIRM CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2008.

pluginhybrid.jpgGoogle’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, will give $1m in grants to encourage the adoption of hybrids.

It has pledged a further $10m to help commercialise plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles.

“We believe our support can stimulate public consumption,” said Urs Hoelzle, Google’s operations senior vice president.

“These types of cars could make a big difference in how much carbon they produce,” he added.

Power producer

The firm said the hybrid vehicles produced 65% fewer CO2 emissions than the average car in Europe.

Google’s own fleet will be converted to hybrid technology and the firm will look for grant proposals to promote further use of fuel-efficient cars later in the year.

Google said it was investing in renewable energy sources and offsetting emissions that could not be eliminated directly, in order to go carbon neutral.

The US web giant announced it had finished phase one of a 1.6-megawatt solar panel system at its headquarters in Mountain View, California.

It will provide almost a third of the HQ’s energy needs. The firm has also committed to creating an additional 50 megawatts of renewable energy by 2012 – enough to power 50,000 homes.

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