Google Now Considers Entering Electric Vehicle Industry

JUL 3 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 13

Google executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, recently spoke with the folks at Autocar after attending the record-setting run by the electric Drayson B12 69.

Pranked...Google Co-Founder's Tesla Model S Gets Flashiest Ever Makeover

Pranked…Google Co-Founder’s Tesla Model S Gets Flashiest Ever Makeover

As Schmidt told Autocar, Google’s interest in electric vehicles is expanding.  Google has several ongoing projects that involve the automotive industry, but now it seems the Internet search giant might turn its attention towards electric vehicles.

Here’s what Schmidt had to say to Autocar:

“This is the beginnings of a new industry.  History has proven that new technology thrives best in new companies. I figure that in 20 years’ time, electric cars will be in the mainstream.”

“The technology itself is simple and the application of it is advancing quickly. Eventually, people will have to look at internal combustion-engined cars and ask why we drive such complex vehicles. Digital cameras have replaced analogue cameras; the same will eventually happen with our cars.”

“Ultimately, I don’t know where Google fits in. But if we can get involved in anything that promotes new technology, innovation, materials and so on, then we’ll be signed up for it.”

There’s been talk before that Google might well be the best suitor for Tesla Motors, though nothing on the record was mentioned.  It’s all speculative at this point, so speculate away.  Precisely where do you see Google fitting in?

Source: Autocar

Categories: General

Tags:

Leave a Reply

13 Comments on "Google Now Considers Entering Electric Vehicle Industry"

newest oldest most voted
Kingsley

Eric Schmidt is NOT Google’s CEO. He’s the Executive Chairman. There is a big difference.

Larry Page is the CEO.

Eric Loveday

Noted and corrected. Thanks

Bonaire

Google Maps should start with a very good EV EVSE locator layer on top of Google Maps including perhaps streetview with an easy way to find charging locations.

Warren

How about a map app that calculates difference in energy use for different routes, based on speed limit, grade, and elevation?

Aaron

As an i-MiEV driver, I would love that. Granted, there isn’t much in the way of elevation changes here in Dallas… 🙂

Brian

Bingo. As a driver, understanding your EV is wildly different than understanding your ICEV. In addition to calculating routes based on energy, there is an opportunity to combine information from multiple charging networks, determine real-time availability of chargers, and re-route a driver if there is an issue. This is all information management, at which Google excels.

kdawg

Since BMW and a couple others have already stole the i-Whatever moniker, Google will have to come up with something other than iCar.

Nelson

Maybe the g-Car.

NPNS!
Volt#671

Paul Godsmark

I would say there is definitely talk about self-driving cars between Google and Tesla on record – direct from Elon Musk himself:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-07/tesla-ceo-talking-with-google-about-autopilot-systems.html

Just_chris
The question is what can Google do to increase the adoption of EV’s whilst making new products and more money. I think this really goes beyond funky map apps that will be developed in time anyway. There are so many ways Google could help out the EV industry but the 2 big one on my list are: 1. Vehicle to grid – data centers use 1-2% of the worlds electricity and they have to run 24-7. V2G could smooth out the load making electricity cheaper and more reliable for Google, I suspect the later being is of greater importance than the former for Google. All they need to do is get all of the V’s in their part of the G. I’m thinking massive free fast charging network in area’s where Google has data centers. Since we only drive cars for about 2 hours of the day and a fast charger can put an 80% charge into a car in 30 min that leaves 21 hours of grid smoothing fun. It gets really interesting when you throw in the PHEV as they have a generator on board, it doesn’t take a genius to come up with a whole list of… Read more »
James
The digital camera comparison is a good one. I had one of the first readily available digicams, an Epson that took horrible photos. It was a novelty, and everyone I knew was intrigued, but dismissive, since the photos weren’t near as good as ones taken with their cheap 35mm point and shoots. But gas is like film, something that needs to be continually purchased from a vendor who controls nearly everything about the process, whereas EV’s allow the user to decide where they get fuel from, and can even make their own if so inclined. Twenty years ago Kodak was still a giant to be reckoned with, but now they are nothing, and I’m hoping big oil ends up with the same fate. I agree with Google that new companies will lead the way, because few people really saw Tesla coming, even when it was right in front of them. No established car company cares about EV’s like Tesla, because they don’t think their survival depends on it, so they have no incentive for radical innovation like we are seeing from Musk and company. So I expect to see decent, but not exciting EV’s from other manufacturers, and then it… Read more »
Rick Danger

Nice post James, +1

Roy_H
I wish somebody with deep pockets like Google would take up the challenge of ushering in the new era of cheap, safe nuclear energy by promoting the LFTR. Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactors were invented in the 1960s at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They ran one for almost 5 years. LFTRs are inherently safe, produce very little radio-active waste, and run on cheap thorium. The small amount of radio-active waste decays to a safe level in 300 years vs the 10,000 years required for the current uranium waste stockpile. LFTRs can be designed so they have a freeze plug that if allowed to thaw, dumps the radio-active fluid into a container that spreads out the fuel so it stops reacting and cools down. This shut-down method does not require any power, just turn of the cooling fan, gravity does the rest. It cannot melt down because the fuel is already in liquid form. Simple design does not have control rods, runs at atmospheric pressure, and is naturally load following, so it is cheap to manufacture. Thorium does not require the expensive enrichment process used for uranium. Thorium is about as common as lead, and literally free. Most concentrated thorium is found… Read more »