GE to convert half of global fleet to EVs by 2015
The multinational corporation has announced that it is to purchase 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015 for use on its own fleet and for its customers through its Capital Fleet Services business.
In a statement, GE said that it will convert at least half of its 30,000 global fleet over to vehicles with the remainder to be deployed by its fleet customers by 2015.
Of the 25,000 EVs, 12,000 will be made up of GM vehicles, beginning with the Chevrolet Volt in 2011.
The remaining vehicles will be added as manufacturers expand their electric vehicle portfolios.
The company said that it hoped that other firms would follow its lead.
‘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. ‘By electrifying our own fleet, we will accelerate the adoption curve, drive scale, and move electric vehicles from anticipation to action.’
However, the move is not purely altruistic – the firm said that its businesses, including the Capital Fleet Services leasing business, Energy and Licensing & Trading, will benefit from the developing EV market, which could add up to $500 million in GE revenue over the next three years. This includes rapidly developing markets for GE’s charging station, the WattStation.
‘We make technology that touches every point of the electric vehicle infrastructure and are leading the transformation to a smarter electrical grid,’ Jeff Immelt said. ‘This transformation will be good for our businesses and for our shareowners. Wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles will also drive clean energy innovation, strengthen energy security and deliver economic value.’
GE also announced that it is to start opening a number of electric vehicle centres to evaluate vehicle performance and charging behaviours, driver experiences, service requirements and operational efficiencies.
One will be located outside of Detroit, in Van Buren Township, Michigan, as part of GE’s Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center. The other will be located at GE Capital’s Fleet Services business headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
GE said that it would be opening further centres and would announce their locations in 2011.