New Google search tools leverage IEA data on electric vehicles and home heating

image shows the google search engine page on a laptop screen

The global energy crisis that began early last year has highlighted the cost effectiveness of using key clean energy technologies like electric vehicles and heat pumps compared with their fossil fuel-based counterparts.

With a growing number of options in the marketplace, however, people now face what can sometimes be a bewildering set of choices. In response, Google has recently launched two new search features based on the International Energy Agency’s data, analysis, and guidance, that can help consumers make informed decisions in their everyday lives.

“Clean energy technologies are not only the sustainable choice but also increasingly the more affordable choice in many areas of our lives, from cars to home heating,” said IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol. “As inflation pushes up the cost of living in many countries, it’s essential for consumers to have the information they need to make smart choices that can help their finances and the planet. The IEA’s work supports these efforts by providing objective and unrivalled data and analysis.”

The first of Google’s new search features is a fuel cost calculator that provides users with an estimate of an electric or traditional vehicle’s yearly cost of ownership based on its energy consumption. The tool, which appears alongside organic search results when someone looks for information about a traditional or an electric vehicle, is currently available in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

The second new search feature from Google allows users to compare home heating systems across their cost, lifespan and energy efficiency. The tool appears alongside organic results for search terms such as ‘heat pumps’ or ‘air conditioning’. It is currently available in the United States, based on data from EnergyStar and, and in France, based on IEA data, with plans to launch in additional countries in Europe in the coming months.

Increasingly popular technologies like electric vehicles and heat pumps drive electrification across the energy system, playing a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Recent growth trends put electric car sales on track to account for two-thirds of new car sales by 2030 – a critical milestone in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario. Heat pump sales increased by 11% globally in 2022, and many markets, notably in the European Union, are currently tracking ahead of the roughly 20% annual growth rate needed to 2030 in the Net Zero Scenario.

Last year, following the global energy crisis precipitated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Google added a search feature, based on IEA data and analysis, designed to help people understand the causes and consequences of the crisis and what they could do save energy. The tool, which launched in 29 European countries and in 22 languages, reached 15 million people.

In September, the IEA announced that the pathway to limiting global average temperature rise to 1.5 °C had narrowed over the previous two years but that it remained open thanks to the tremendous growth in key clean energy technologies. It warned, however, that to address the threat of climate change, momentum needs to increase rapidly in many areas.

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