Monday, November 16, 2009

Powering Electric Cars

We're proud of our Google Trends and Google Insight for Search products which allow anybody free of charge to access search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties. Researchers all around the globe have used this tool to come up with interesting conclusions.

Transport and Environment now has published a new report on electric cars. The NGO concluded that electric cars can play a role in cutting Europe’s carbon emissions. But it cautioned that current EU legislation contains loopholes which could increase dependence on petrol and diesel, increasing vehicle emissions.

Transport and Environment support higher prices for petrol as way of discouraging purchasing of emission-creating cars. But how do you prove that higher petrol prices really will cut into emissions? After all, aren't many of us beholden to our car? In order to address this point, Transport and Environment turned to Google's search data, correlating searches for the term "electric car" and petrol prices. The higher the price of petrol, the more searches occurred. When prices fell, searches fell.

Electric vehicles first were invented more than a century ago and have been considered a promising technology at repeated intervals.In each instance, however, they have failed to live up to expectations after just a short time, due largely to competition with the internal combustion engine. The continued high price, limited range, lack of investment in the technology and absence of charging infrastructure have combined to prevent the technology penetrating the market in any significant way. At Google, we want to do all possible to encourage electric cars and have a fleet of them at our California headquarters.

Posted by Bil Echikson, Senior Manager Communications

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