Some companies subsidise their employees ability to buy hybrid cars as part of their 'dedication to the enviroment and their employees. This list of generous employers includes Bank of America, Timberland and Google.
But apparently Google doesn't think this is enough. Google has decided to go one step further and has started looking into developing the next generation of hybrid cars.
Google org, a for-profit charity seeded with $1 billion in initial capital has been given the minor goals of tackling poverty, disease and globabl warming. Given it's for-profit status, it is capable of 1) paying taxes and 2) do other business things like fund other companies and form partnerships with venture capitalists.
But what caught my eye in the NY times article was this:
Philanthropy Google’s Way: Not the Usual - New York Times
One of its maiden projects reflects the philanthropy’s nontraditional approach. According to people briefed on the program, the organization, called Google.org, plans to develop an ultra-fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid car engine that runs on ethanol, electricity and gasoline.
The philanthropy is consulting with hybrid-engine scientists and automakers, and has arranged for the purchase of a small fleet of cars with plans to convert the engines so that their gas mileage exceeds 100 miles per gallon. The goal of the project is to reduce dependence on oil while alleviating the effects of global warming.
Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, believe for-profit status will greatly increase their philanthropy’s range and flexibility. It could, for example, form a company to sell the converted cars, finance that company in partnership with venture capitalists, and even hire a lobbyist to pressure Congress to pass legislation granting a tax credit to consumers who buy the cars.
The bad thing about being a for-profit organization under the wings of its parent, Google, is that the money can be taken back at any time. If google sees a downturn in its economics, shareholders can recall the funding.