Fairfield, Conn: The General Electric Co. (GE) will purchase 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015, a move that marks the largest ever electric vehicle commitment.
The world’s largest company will initially purchase 12,000 Chevrolet Volt electric sedans in 2011 and will add other vehicles as manufacturers expand their electric vehicle line ups.
The plan is part of a strategy to become the de facto standard for electric vehicle charging solutions and peripheral technology, a market in which GE has made significant investments. It owns a portfolio of products including charging stations, circuit protection equipment and transformers used in electric vehicle infrastructure development.
The company currently has roughly 65,000 global fleet customers and considers this move an opportunity to establish “wide-scale electric vehicle adoption” among this customer base.
“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.
“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,” he said.
Immelt estimates the emerging electric vehicle market could deliver up to $500 million in revenue for GE over the next three years, spread across businesses including its Capital Fleet Services, Energy and Licensing & Trading.
General Motors Corp. CEO Dan Akerson called the plan a vote of confidence in the Chevrolet Volt, which will be in commercial production by 2011.
“We are 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,” Akerson said.
Photo: General Motors Corp.