Google is already well known for putting its significant power behind clean energy technologies, including their work in solar power, wind energy investments and their data centers being powered by hydro-electricity, which lead to the creation of Google Energy, a company that has federal support to sell and buy electricity. Now Google is starting dabbling in clean and green transportation technologies and with major funds being put up we may just see some important breakthroughs to help our gridlocked cities and polluted air.
Charging electric cars wirelessly
Google's U.S. headquarters at Mountain View California is trailing a novel system which charges electric cars without having to plug them into the mains. Known as Plugless Power, the system offers people an easy and quick hands-free way to charge up their electric cars.
The basic idea behind the hands-free technology of Plugless Power is similar to the concept used in an electric toothbrush. This latest development in electric car technology is in response to a concern by many people about getting too far away from a charging station for their car. By getting rid of the need for hybrids and electric vehicles to use plugs and cords to charge Plugless Power is plugging a massive gap in the electric car market. Google is initially going to be using the new technology to charge retrofitted electric cars with short ranges.
Greening urban commuting
Google set about on a global search for new ideas to help change the world and they went looking for a company that was driving new ideas in public transportation. In response Google has recently invested in a company that is developing a very innovative solution to the public transport woes of many of the world's big cities.
Shweeb is an elevated capsule that runs on a monorail system. It is powered by the operator in a bicycle-type system. The capsule and tracks have been designed to minimise resistance and drag making the capsule easy to power at top speed with little driver effort. The designers have also developed an electric escalator that can be used to help drivers power up any hills. They say that the Shweeb can carry people at up to 45 km per hour.
With Google's significant financial backing, the inventors of Shweeb are now able to create a working model for public use. We just have to now wait patiently for a chance to try it out.