The New York Times has an interesting article about how Google is working with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) on some plug in Hybrid technology.
Plug in Hybrids allow you to charge up the batteries overnight when power is generally less expensive as opposed to the regular hybrids that only charge via the internal combustion engine. This allows users to get up in the morning to fully charged batteries and run on them for the first bunch of miles. They say thanks to that initial charge they can get 75mpg out of a Prius instead of the usual 50-60. At the same time you’re moving CO2 production from the less efficient car engine to the more efficient electric plants.
Now what Google has done is lined portions of their parking lots at HQ with solar arrays which could allow employees to plug in their cars to charge the batteries via “free” solar power. If these plug in hybrids take off, we’re starting to look at a world where businesses could find it more cost effective to replace fleets of vehicles with their own plug in hybrid’s and solar panels. It’s a pretty cool world ahead.
Check out the article above for a better explanation.