No they aren’t trying to buy one and no they aren’t trying to buy a company that makes them. They are offering a challenge to anyone who can shrink an ice chest-sized inverter down to the size of a laptop.
On the Google blog page they just announced the Little Box Challenge. Google, in cooperation with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), is looking for some clever person (or persons) who can somehow come up with a way to shrink a traditional power inverter (a device that converts DC power to AC power) down to the size of a laptop. And they are willing to pay $1 million to whoever thinks they can pull off that engineering feat.
According to the blog post:
So, Tesla-heads, you’ve got until September 30 to register your team (or university), you’ve got until July 2015 to submit your approach, in October 2015 18 finalists will be invited to bring their inventions in for testing and sometime in January, 2016 the grand prize winner will be announced.