Styling Aside, Google Has Made A Big Commitment To Autonomous Electric Driving - Over 100 To Be Built
Google and the IEEE recently announced the Little Box Challenge with a prize of $1,000,000 for developing and demonstrating the highest power density inverter.
This is not directly related to EVs, as Google would like to make miniaturization of single-phase 2 kVA unit (air cooled). However, if someone will be able to make progress in this area, then new solutions could be transferred to 3-phase 100+ kVA (liquid cooled) units in EVs.
There is not too much time left for registrations in Little Box Challenge and the end of the challenge is scheduled for late 2015.
Who knows... maybe the prize for highest energy density batteries (under $150/kWh) would make for an effective challenge too?
"Cooler-sized Isn’t Cool
Inverters are the essential boxes that take direct current from devices such as solar panels and batteries and turn it into alternating current for use in homes, businesses, and cars.
The problem is household inverters are too big—roughly the size of a picnic cooler. Making them smaller would enable more solar-powered homes, more efficient distributed electrical grids, and could help bring electricity to the most remote parts of the planet.
That’s where you come in: figure out how to shrink an inverter down to something smaller than a small laptop (a reduction of >10× in volume) and smaller than everyone else, and you’ll win a million dollars (and help revolutionize electricity for the next century)."