Google aiming to solve hybrid car problem

Google wants to solve the hybrid plug-in problem
Google wants to solve the hybrid plug-in problem

Google has said it's working on software to solve the problem of hybrid cars overloading the power grid when the technology reaches a larger number of people.

The current scenario sees a limited number of people plugging in their hybrid cars, but Dan Reicher, Google's director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives told an industry conference that the company is anticipating a shift.

"We got to be careful how we manage these things," he said, according to Reuters. "On a hot day in July when 5 million Californians come home, you don't want them all plugging in at the same moment."

Managing power

Google is working on software that would allow the consumption of such power to be managed as it could have a disastrous effect on the electricity supply infrastructure.

Reicher posited that in exchange for charge being switched off at the critical moment, users would receive a credit from the power supplier.

Another option the company is testing is using the plugged in cars as back-up power reservoirs, so at high consumption times they could actually transfer power back to the grid to help maintain smooth flow.

A number of brands, such as Samsung, Toshiba and VW are investing in hybrid technology for cars, and it looks set to become a more popular form of automotive transport in the near future.

These plans might look like Google being philanthropic, but we all know what the internet search giant is up to with a scheme like this: powering flying cars. We're onto you, Google.

Via Reuters

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.