Photo: GM, GE
Largest Single EV Commitment So FarGE, the ginormous multinational conglomerate (according to Forbes, they have about 780 billion dollars in assets and 115 billion dollars of yearly sales), has decided to switch 25,000 vehicles from its fleet to electric vehicles, starting with 12,000 Chevrolet Volts starting in 2011. No doubt, this commitment is a milestone for the electrification of transportation, all the more significant because this is private money going into the industry.
Photo: GMThis should help GM and other EV makers (and their suppliers) to make enough cash with their early products to keep going and keep improving them and reduce costs via economies of scale so that the general public will soon have better and more affordable electric cars.
GE will convert at least half of its 30,000 global fleet and will partner with fleet customers to deploy a total of 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015. GE will initially purchase 12,000 GM vehicles, beginning with the Chevrolet Volt in 2011, and will add other vehicles as manufacturers expand their electric vehicle portfolios. GE and its partners will use a mix of electric vehicle technologies to meet their respective needs. Chevrolet Volts will roll off production lines this month and other automakers are bringing electric vehicles to market [this probably means Nissan, Ford, Toyota...]. As this occurs, GE is in a strong position to help deploy the supporting infrastructure to help its 65,000 global fleet customers convert and manage their fleets. (source)
Of course, helping to kick-start the EV transition can be good business for GE. They sell all kinds of technologies that would be in demand if more vehicles are running on electrons. But whatever the motivations, this is a good move for people who want to see electric cars progress faster and a good vote of confidence by an extremely tech-savvy company (which could influence other big players).
Via GE News
More on Electric Cars
Tesla Motors Revenues Drop by 1/3, Creating a $34.9 Million Loss in Q3
BMW to Invest $560 Million Dollars to Produce an Electric Car
Panasonic Buys a 2% Stake in Tesla Motors for $30M
Electric Audi A2 Claims Distance Record on Public Roads Thanks to Lithium Metal Polymer Batteries
Jaguar Unveils the C-X75 PHEV Supercar (With 4 Electric Motors and 2 Gas Micro-turbines)