General Electric has committed to buy 25,000 electric vehicles over the next five years for its own fleet and to lease out to global customers through GE Capital.
The US conglomerate will initially purchase 12,000 General Motors electric vehicles, beginning with the Chevrolet Volt in 2011, and will later add other manufacturers’ cars. It has committed to convert half of its fleet to electric by 2015.
Electric vehicles have been backed by GE in the hope that they will deliver $500 million in revenue during the next three years, particularly in its Capital Fleet Services, Energy, and Licensing and Trading businesses.
Jeff Immelt, GE chief executive and chairman, said: “Electric vehicle technology is ready for deployment and we are embracing the transformation. By electrifying our fleet, we will accelerate the adoption curve, drive scale, and move electric vehicles from anticipation to action.”
General Motors chief executive Dan Akerson added: “GE’s commitment reflects confidence that electric vehicles are a real-world technology that can reduce both emissions and our dependence on oil. It is also a vote of confidence in the Chevrolet Volt, which we will begin delivering to retail customers by the end of this year.”