November 11th, 2010
09:15 AM ET

GE to buy 25K electric fleet vehicles

GE said Thursday it will buy 25,000 electric vehicles for its fleet through 2015 in the largest-ever purchase of electric cars.

GE will begin with an initial purchase of 12,000 vehicles from General Motor Co., starting with Chevy Volt in 2011. The conglomerate said it "will add other vehicles as manufacturers expand their electric vehicle profiles."

The first Chevrolet Volt is expected to roll off production lines later this month.

GM confirmed the announcement with CNNMoney.com.

soundoff (383 Responses)
  1. Jim in Texas

    Jovan Jaratz

    Battery pack is fully warranteed for 100,000 miles

    Would cost maybe $7-$10k to replace at the onset – far lower once production ramps up.

    No charging station – no problem. That's why the Volt – unlike the Nissan Leaf – has an on-board generator. You can go over 300 miles without even a fillup. Most people who use the Volt the way it was intended (short trips, reasonably short commute to work – will buy gas about 5-6 times per YEAR.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Fred Patterson

    Jeffrey Immelt and the VPs responsible should be terminated if this goes thru. The Volt is not a cost effective vehicle and this action is reducing the value of my stock and stock value for all other stockholders, and for only political purposes. This is as bad as what the previous House of Representatives did to the American people and we replaced that group. This is outrageous and must be addressed. I have never before been involved enough to attend the annual meeting but I will be happy to attend if we can address this issue there.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. HarlanR

    I'm just glad that there is no connection from GE to GM to The White House. Oh. Look. A unicorn!

    November 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JM in San Diego CA

    GE Makes electricity. That is, they make the large generators, including nuclear plants. They would likle gasoline to go away, I suspect, along with natural gas.

    They helped to defeat California's ballot effort to keep our jobs here. If it says GE, buy something else.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. paul

    Losers: US taxpayers and GE for buying so many electric lemons

    November 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. NOBODY IMPORTANT

    Someone asked, "What are they gonna do with all of them lead filled batteries in a few years when they won't hold a charge anymore and isn't lead one of the most dangerous elements on earth? Ya know, we've spent hundreds of billions of $$$ cleaning up "lead based paint" in buildings. Why isn't anyone talking about that???"

    WAS THINKING THE EXACT SAME THING! GET READ, U.S., TO START LOOKING LIKE CHINA, WITH ALL THE TOXINS AND POLLUTANTS THAT ARE COMIN' ROUND THE BEND.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Max Yakov

      You should have researched the Volt's battery before going off on an anti-lead rant. Maybe it's because you're 'NOBODY IMPORTANT' that you have not been notified that the Volt's battery is NOT LEAD-ACID. Or maybe it's because people don't have time for 'Volt Dolts'. However, nowthat I'm on the subject, my information is that the Volt's battery is assembled the U.S. although the bulk of the battery (the cells) are manufactured in China because we don't have that manufacturing capability (and the jobs).

      If you need something to rant about, how about that? There's also the issue of re-cycling the Volt's battery and the remainder of the car, BTW. Is it possible that batteries with prematurely dead cells can be repaired?

      November 11, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tim Milner

    A few questions. How many powerplants will have to be built to provide the energy if most of the people living in this country buy electric cars? What fuel will these plants use to generate the needed electricity? What effect will it have on the supply (brownouts, blackouts) when all these cars are plugged in every night? How many 'plug in' stations will have to be built everywhere they will be needed (motels, garages, business'). And last but not least . . . how long will it take to get all this infrastructure in place for the electric cars?

    November 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas

      Tim,

      How many new powerplants? How about none!!

      Power plants right now sit idle most of the night – especially in hot climate states where the peak demand for electricity comes during the day from AC requirements. Now those plants can produce power – with better effficiency and lower costs – by running at higher utilization all night.

      No charging station ? That's why the Volt has it's own on-board generator. It has a better range (when you need it) than many regular gasoline cars. If you use it for shorter trips – you can run on electricity for about 3 cents per mile.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. NOBODY IMPORTANT

    OOPS, that should be 'GET READY, U.S., TO START LOOKING LIKE CHINA, WITH ALL THE TOXINS AND POLLUTANTS THAT ARE COMIN' ROUND THE BEND...'

    November 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tony

    the volt is NOT an electric car. its a hybrid. the dang thing has a gasoline engine! Nissan Leaf = electric

    November 11, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Max Yakov

      There's a formal vehicle drive-train classification scheme floating around the internet, but I'd say it's an electric/hybrid since the primary locomotion is through electric motors/battery only, yet can also be considered a hybrid since the charging engine can particpate indirectly in driving the wheels although in a less closely-coupled way than the Toyota Prias' planetary gearing arrangement. Still, as long as the charging engine is not running, it is much of an electric as the Leaf or any other motor/battery-only electric.

      So it's a two-mode vehicle – pure electric or (what I would call) a loosely-coupled hybrid.

      November 12, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tom

    Burn Petroleum. It's purely organic.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The Centurian

    The government will be paying $1.00 for every picture sent in of a Volt broken down on the side of the road, and $2.00 for every picture of a Volt actually functioning and rolling down the highway with other REAL vehicles. They figure that at these rates, they'll be cutting their costs in half 🙂 Wait until all you idiot Greenies who purchase one of these pocket toys get your electric bill. Oh, but wait! You can get a GE smart meter installed in your home and everything will be OK. Government Motors + Government Electric = more union votes for Barry 😦

    November 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. land lord

    There is more to this deal than is reported in this story. GE does not operate like GM.
    There is a tie in & cross platform market in this play.
    For those interested, look up the buy out's & mergers amongst the fuel cell innovators, and the various stack, cell, and storage designers.
    The back-end for GE is in the head start it will get in the next generation of automotive power plants.
    GE has committed itself in a big way to residential fuel cell power generation. They have purchased or formed partnership's & future licensing agreements with most every player in the fuel cell marketplace.
    Electric Vehicles such as the volt will be put into corporate fleet service, the Volt is to be considered a platform, a testbed, into which future design's can be tested. This allows GE to be the early"provider" of technology that other manufacturers will use to power vehicles. Just as GE does now with commercial Jet engines.
    The ability to produce electricity on a small scale for residential & commercial customers will the be breakthrough needed to make electric vehicles realize their potential.

    Which ever technology wins the brass ring, GE is there, already locked in, be it solid oxide fuel cells, or molten carbonate fuel cells, proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells.
    This is a decade long plan that only begins with the Volt purchase, GE will not profit from the Volt in the traditional sense that this vehicle will lower transportation cost's for GE's fleet. GE is looking to be the major purveyor of the next generation in motive & storage & fuel cell technology.
    Let's hope GE can bring together all the elements requisite to make a go of it. I'm rooting for the home team. landlord39

    OBTW in response to quote of Ford lagging behind GM, Ford is not that far behind, as they & Daimler bought the automotive division of Ballard Power in 2007/8.
    Me thinks Ford is not going to pull a "GM" ala EV1 or the VOLT. Ford wants to introduce a game-changer just like Model T was. They have a sharp CEO who is not an old school auto exec. GM might be well served to do likewise.

    November 11, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. am

    LET'S SEE HERE. STICKER PRICE PER UNIT $41K. FLEET DISCOUNT ON 12,000 TO 25,000 UNITS OF APPROX. $13K PER UNIT. NET COST OF $28K PER UNIT. WOULD YOU PAY $28K FOR A CHEVY????????

    November 11, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Thomas Shea

    The internal combustion powered vehicle won the technology race over the steam powered and the battery electric vehicles around 1909. At the time when paved highways replaced rail lines between cities. The internal combustion engine provided range where the electric fell short. The internal combustion engine permitted cold weather starting where the steam engine faltered.

    But today, the electric car is still a great way to get around. Provided you live at the golf course.

    November 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Coal Man

    Why the big deal about a car the is really powered by Coal and Oil buring power plants for charging?

    November 11, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
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