GE to Purchase 25,000 Electric Cars
GE's Fleet of electric cars will help the company lead by example
Last week, General Electric announced that it will be purchasing 25,000 electric cars for its fleet by 2015, making the company a leader in electric vehicle adoption. GE has made billions of dollars in alternative energy projects, including wind turbines, solar power and hybrid locomotives, so its support for the budding electric vehicle market fits well with the company's overall interest in generating and using clean energy.
Although not all of the cars that will make up GE's fleet have been chosen, 12,000 of the electric cars will come from General Motors. GM's 2011 Chevrolet Volt is the first car that GE will receive. The Chevrolet Volt, which has only recently been made available to early buyers, has an electric motor that powers the car for around 40 miles, and a gas tank that powers a generator when the car is driven past the electric motor's limit. At $41,000, the Volt is a bit expensive for some consumers, but it has great potential as a fleet car. Because sales and service representatives generally drive a short route, their electric cars can run mostly on battery power. The cars can then quickly be recharged using 30-minute fast chargers supplying cheap off-peak energy at a central charging station.
As the manufacturer of the WattStation, an EV charging station, as well as other equipment related to electric vehicles, GE's reasons for purchasing such a large fleet of electric cars are not purely cost savings and environmental awareness. GE stands to profit from the popularization of electric cars, so why not purchase a fleet of cars to prove that they are viable? Let's hope this large purchase of electric cars sets a good example and inspires other consumers and businesses to follow in GE's footsteps.