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GE to purchase 25,000 EVs by 2015 in largest single EV commitment yet; 12,000 GM vehicles, starting with 2011 Volt

GE will purchase 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015 for its own fleet and through its Capital Fleet Services business—the largest-ever single electric vehicle commitment. In a speech in London in October, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt said that the company would order “tens of thousands” of electric vehicles soon. (Earlier post.)

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. 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.

GE owns one of the world’s largest fleets, operates a leading global fleet management business, and offers a portfolio of product solutions including charging stations, circuit protection equipment and transformers that touch every part of electric vehicle infrastructure development. This enables GE to lead wide-scale electric vehicle adoption and generate growth for its businesses.

Electric vehicle technology is real and ready for deployment and we are embracing the transformation with partners like GM and our fleet customers. By electrifying our own fleet, we will accelerate the adoption curve, drive scale, and move electric vehicles from anticipation to action.

We make technology that touches every point of the electric vehicle infrastructure and are leading the transformation to a smarter electrical grid. 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 Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt

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 in GE revenue over the next three years. This includes rapidly developing markets for GE’s charging station, the WattStation.

GE also announced two electric vehicle customer experience and learning centers to provide customers, employees and researchers first-hand access to electric vehicles and developing technologies. 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, with several other centers to be announced in 2011.

The centers will monitor and evaluate vehicle performance and charging behaviors, driver experiences, service requirements, and operational efficiencies, while also affording the opportunity to experience a variety of manufacturers and models, and gain insights on electric vehicle deployment.

GE is launching this comprehensive electric vehicle program as part of its ecomagination business strategy to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology though innovation and R&D investment. In support of the announcement of the purchase, an electric vehicle readiness toolkit has been launched on to help municipalities, customers, and individuals prepare for wide-scale electric vehicle deployment.



Looks like GE will clean them out of Volts for 2011.

I don't get the Leaf. I'd pay $15,000 for a limited range vehicle, but $25,000? - no way. This first model is for early adapters who love to overpay to be the first with a cool new technology. To get to the mass market audience, the range will have to go up while keeping the price the same or lower - let's see how many years this takes.

Chris Hill

This is a great advance for electric vehicles. The fact that it is not a government fleet is significant and this may help bring prices down faster that sales of electric vehicles happening one vehicle at a time. Compliments to GE.


TM: Yes new technologies often cost more. Remember the early large LCD & Plasma TV at $6000+. Some 8 to 10 years latter, same size, improved performance sets cost a mere $600. That's what will probably happen to EV batteries and associated components price by end of the current decade. New technology TVs price dropped because millions where sold and production was moved to Asia, where labor is much cheaper. Unfortunately, USA manufacturers closed down. The same thing happened to computers, printers, cameras, projectors, telephones, storage devices, music players, etc etc. This trend has moved into cars a few years ago and home made regular ICE cars are in serious difficulties. Our last North American made car was in 1985. We have been buying (very good) cars made in Asia since.

Post 2020 BEVs could cost less than their ICE equivalent and certainly perform a lot better than todays. Yes, BEV production could also move to Asia if we are not willing to invest into local production and if our glorious unions are not prepared to face reality and compete with labor in other countries.

And don't forget that 25 000 USD is not worth what it use to be. By the time we are out of the current home made financial mess, it may be worth a lot less. The Yen was close to 120/$ and is now around 80/$. That makes a lot of difference on what you have to pay for a car made in Japan.

I remember paying $3000 for a huge (not so good) V-8 400 In3 Chrysler gas guzzler that lasted a mere 3 1/2 years but I didn't mind paying 8 times that much for a good Prius III that will probably last 3 times longer.


I don't get the Leaf. I'd pay $15,000 for a limited range vehicle, but $25,000?

"Limited" is relative. If the distance you have to travel is within the range of a single charge you're not really limited by it.

Last year ALL the daily milage I had to do could have been covered with a 20 mile range BEV while all joyriding I did could have been covered with a 100 mile range BEV.


Ah, the Volt is not an EV. It's a plug-in hybrid. We are all victims of marketing to varying degrees but this is getting ridiculous ; )



EVs with 100 mile range are not really 100 mile range when you are commuting down the freeway at 70 mph. If you have a charge station at work, then it might be fine.

People say everyone should buy an EV, but it becomes a "you first" proposition. Will people really pay $20k+ in after tax dollars for a car than does not have the range? If you are going to make a major capital purchase, you want a car that can do everything you want it to do.


If GE's fleet begins purchasing 12,000 of the Volt's 10,000 unit 2011 first year run, then there doesn't seem to be many units outside corporate hands and available to the public.

Instead of the 1990's GM EV1 lease only/crush only/sell never there's now the 2010's GM Volt fleet lease only/virtually crush only/sell-but-none-available.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss - welcome to the new GM..

From the 6,000 EV's of the 1990's only 600 RAV4 EVs were ever allowed to be sold to the public during seven years. Yet most of those EVs are still running and proving that even dozen year old EV technology remains viable.

Nissan Leaf, it's up to you. Clearly document the many $thousands of savings in: ICE maintenance cost, the 80,000 of 100,000 miles fuel included(charge vs $3/gal gas costs), a used battery cost recovery path(~50%?), and the fact you'll be producing 180 mi/charge 'drop-in' 2015 batteries for that second 'new car feeling'.


GM will be more than happy to produce as many Volts as they can sell, i'm sure. They stated very conservative production runs because of uncertainty in the marketplace. Let's just hope more corp's continue this trend of jumping on the EV bandwagon.


I thought the lease was a good deal for businesses. They lease cars for sales people all the time. Companies could show their green side without a lot of financial risk.


Next electrical utilities could be natural customers (at least).


I do think the Leaf is mostly for corporate image and early adapters who will pay a bit extra (like buying a Droid-X).

It will not bring prices down much (like, um, do ICE autos cost $2k each, after each auto maker has made a million of them?)
New computers, TVs and PCs drop drastically because they do NOT have lots of expensive batteries that no one has been able (yet) to make cheaply.
The non-recurring dev & Eng’g is not always the biggest cost – often the running costs (materials/production) set price.

And yes, good luck keeping the work in the US.

Also “Oops, look at the gage, I need gas” and “Damn, where is a gas station when you need one” and “We have to leave a bit early ‘cuz we’ll need gas on the way home”, all give “limited range” a new meaning.

The reason the EV1 was lease only/crush only/sell never and now the Volt is lease only/virtually crush only/sell-but-none-available is because after 10 years the EV is JUST NOW approaching viability and then ONLY IF gas prices go and stay above $4. (Like EVs made ANY sense in 1990-1994 when gas averaged ~$1.75/G).

Oh, hasn’t the Prius has been successful for lo these many years? . You decide.

It has dropped off the top 20 list for October (, to be replaced by pickups (by each of the “big” 3), the Malibu, Impala, Grand Cherokee; plus 14 more.

Unfortunately it would take years for GM to double production if GE and/or buyers suddenly increased demand.

So what does GEs move do ?
Make Volts unavailable ?
Make Leafs profitable ?
Make GE LOOK good ?


GE's committment is an excellent sign for electrification. In fact, this commitment is leading the way to fleet electrification which puts the vehicles in general population the fastest.

Darius is correct. The next fleet commitments should come from large utilities. People making and selling the energy should be driving their own product.

NO, GE will not buy out the early run of Volts. They'll augment sales to individuals and heighten the profile they way taxi sales of Prius has. GM has not spent a ton of money on advertising to tell people - we have no vehicles. We can expect 65k Volts to roll out in the first 2 full years of production.

A California Volt will set you back $28,500.00 after State and Fed credits.

When will whiners over the EV1 get a life???


Thought I would post this story about inductive charging.


Last I checked an EV didn't have a gas tank. The Volt is not an EV, it's a hybrid. GE -> fail.


Let's see... An EV is a vehicle that can travel on electric drive alone. With Zero emissions. Whoa! That's exactly what the Volt does for 40 AER miles!

Some people cannot stand another's success -> FAIL.


The Volt is and will continue to be popular. I believe that PHEVs and EREVs in general will be popular in years to come and the prices will come down as more models are built in greater numbers.

That being said, there still will not be enough of them on the road to make enough of a difference in the time frame that we need that difference to be made. In the next few years we will see an oil bidding war the likes of which the world has never seen and hopefully will never see again.

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