Not stopping for a second to celebrate the resignation of Terry Semel at Yahoo!, Google is now taking on the embattled automakers of Detroit with a plan to create 100-mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrid cars:
"Google said Tuesday it is getting in on the development of electric vehicles, awarding $1 million in grants and inviting applicants to bid for another $10 million in funding to develop plug-in hybrid electric vehicles capable of getting 70 to 100 miles per gallon. The project, called the RechargeIT initiative and run from Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org, aims to further the development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles - cars or trucks that have both a gasoline engine and advanced batteries that recharge by plugging into the nation's electric grid."
The idea of Google spearheading massive change within the automotive sector may not be so far-fetched. Last summer, futurist and innovation expert Jim Carroll highlighted the potential for Google to spark massive market disruption within the automotive sector:
"I don't think the scenario posted by Tesla Motors is far-fetched at all -- given rapid science, hyperinnovation, low cost offshore production, and the slow response of other traditional business models .... every industry today is ripe for massive disruption and the rapid emergence of new competitors. A big part of the equation is avoiding 'legacy costs' both in manufacturing as well as sales and support. Think FedEx, not car dealerships. Think smart engine modules that pop in and out, not auto mechanics. Think WalMart, not ReadyLube."
[image: Google hybrid car]