In a move sure to add some fuel to the fire of electric vehicle sales, two American giants in their respective industries are teaming to bring electric vehicles from one to the global company car fleet of the other. General Electric (GE) announced yesterday it will be buying 25,000 electric vehicles for its fleet and for fleet customers, with around 12,000 of these coming from General Motors (GM).
The GE plan, which will see the company converting at least half of its 30,000 global fleet to electric vehicles by 2015, along with partnering with fleet customers for electric vehicles as well, will begin with purchases of GM’s Chevy Volt in 2011. Though specific Volt initial purchase numbers or up front costs were not mentioned by GE, it was said GE businesses “including Capital Fleet Services, Energy and Licensing & Trading will benefit from an emerging electric vehicle market that could deliver up to $500 million
GE and its partners will use a mix of electric vehicle technologies to meet their respective needs, adding other vehicles besides the Volt from other manufacturers as those car companies expand their electric car portfolios. By owning one of the world’s largest fleets, operating a global fleet management business and offering an array of product solutions tied to electric vehicle development, GE sees itself leading wide-scale electric vehicle adoption and generating growth for its businesses.
GM, for its part, was quite happy with GE’s decision to turn to it for what will be likely lots of Volt fleet sales. GM CEO Dan Akerson noted in a statement that this is a major “vote of confidence” for the Volt and that the auto manufacturer was “pleased that the Volt will play a major role in this program, which will spur innovation and benefit our companies, our customers, and society as a whole.”
“Electric vehicle technology is real and ready for deployment and we are embracing the transformation with partners like GM and our fleet customers,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in a statement of his own. “By electrifying our own fleet, we will accelerate the adoption curve, drive scale, and move electric vehicles from anticipation to action.”
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