The Google Car challenges Detroit automakers

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]

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