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. Scott

    GE is practically the same as GM. Both are huge parasites living off the government.

    November 12, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. StephenRex

    Jim from Texas, you've admitted to being a company shill for GM (an engineer who worked on the failed EV1 electric car), and the fact you're basically the only person defending this complete boondoggle while claiming GE and GM have little or nothing to do with Obama means you're either a pathetic corporate lifer, or an Obama plant attempting to reeducate the masses about the Volt. The latter seems most obvious. Why else would you waste your time spouting company talking points and the "pizza man analogy?" And you almost made me spit my coffee when you mentioned "superior American technology." Anything we build, the Chinese can mass produce quicker and cheaper, because like America was during and after WWII, their engineers and inventors are not hampered by green nuts and corrupt politicians hawking green nonsense to fleece taxpayers and line their own pockets. GE & GM took massive $ from the taxpayer thanks to Obama. In exchange, GE's NBC networks gave Obama fawning coverage, touts his talking points, and in general acts –as you are, Jim - as part of Obama's communication cadre. This is the quintessential case of robbing Peter to pay Paul to make the VoltGEGMTeamSorosObama look successful - and quite literally to reward all involved with this scam handsomely.

    November 12, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • TexasJack

      A recent article discussed who should pay for the new charging stations.......the people that use them or all of us? Its the usual need to "subsidize" what the elites tell us we should do. I guess you can't plug the Volt into a windmill.....we have a LOT of those already.

      And does anyone think the price of electricity will go down because of electric cars? Electric cars need a fossil fuel plant to generate electricity, and this Volt needs a fossil fuel backup..........because 99% of America could never have this as their primary car.

      November 12, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Marine

    Has any of you out there ever looked at the Dangers of Lithium Batteries, how easy they can explode, if some how you crack one the fumes are toxic, and what it takes to put out a fire if you get into an accident, you can't use water on Lithium, or they explode.
    I suggest people look up the dangers of Lithium Batteries, it may shock you..

    November 12, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. One-Eyed-Jacks

    Bogus,

    GE (aka Government Electric) has big interests in anything electric, so of course they're going to buy these electric crap boxes on wheels. Think - big government contracts, ties into the Whit House etc., this is a corruption of free market principles.

    November 12, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Marine

    From the November, 2009 issue of Automobile Magazine
    By Don Sherman
    Photography by Harry Campbell

    Following decades of research and a lengthy apprenticeship energizing our cell phones, laptops, and power tools, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have begun closing the gap between today's petroleum-fueled transportation and the electric cars of the future. Acknowledging this milestone on the road to more efficient automobiles, the Li-ion battery is Automobile Magazine's 2010 Technology of the Year.

    In the last decade, gasoline/electric hybrids have earned a secure foothold in the market, and the Tesla Roadster and the Mini E have taught us not to discount pure electrics as folly. The Chevrolet Volt, the Fisker Karma, and the Nissan Leaf will arrive later this year to further the electric-propulsion cause. These five cars and the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid bear watching, because they're the first vehicles equipped with Li-ion batteries.

    The Feds support this movement. Tax credits will continue for those who curb their consumption by selecting a new high-efficiency vehicle. The Obama administration has also proposed raising the CAFE standard to 35.5 mpg in 2016, a 26 percent increase over last year's fleet average. The most expeditious way to boost mileage while reducing emissions is to phase in more electric-drive systems. Enter the Li-ion battery – the great enabler for advanced hybrids and pioneering electrics. Li-ion batteries are significantly smaller and lighter than NiMH batteries (see chart), and they can be recharged overnight in homes equipped with suitable wiring.

    As is the case with every new technology, there are issues. Li-ion batteries are vulnerable to overcharging, short circuits, and excess heat. A few of them caught fire doing laptop-computer service, and millions have been recalled to check for manufacturing defects. Longevity studies conducted by car and battery makers cannot predict exactly how long Li-ion batteries will last in consumers' hands. Although it's logical to expect that their cost will fall as their numbers increase, no one claims that Li-ion batteries will ever be cheap. Each Chevy Volt's battery pack costs General Motors an estimated $10,000.

    November 12, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. One-Eyed-Jacks

    To: WeMadeAmistake
    Screw the unions, they're one of the reason the auto industry to so completely messed up in this country.

    November 12, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • summersun

      Immelt the G.E. amd GM fat cats get our tax payers money and then we continue to subsidize GE and GM??????

      GE and GM subsidized by US the tax payers .... 798 days....

      November 14, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. Marine

    From the NFPA,
    Fire Fighters will need specialized training and equipment for the new electric cars...... More tax dollars.....

    October 6, 2010, Auburn Hills, Mich. — Chevrolet and OnStar, in a joint effort with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), kicked off the first in a series of electric vehicle safety training sessions that will take place this fall in cities across the country. First responders participated in a three-hour program to prepare for emergency situations involving electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt, an electric vehicle with extended-range capability available in select markets late this year.

    The training hosted in Auburn Hills was the first on this fall’s tour, which will also make stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, New York and Washington, D.C.

    “These training sessions will provide a valuable opportunity for first responders to prepare for the introduction of this new vehicle technology,” said Chevrolet Safety Director Gay Kent. “The tour allows us to extend our training and education to first responders across the country. Our goal with this program is to help public safety personnel become as comfortable working around electric vehicles as they are with conventional vehicles today.”

    Safety trainers will deliver presentations covering topics specific to electric vehicles such as power shut-off procedures, lithium ion battery details, locations of high-strength steel, and cut points for extrication. In addition, a Volt – recently used during an extrication exercise – will be on-site for hands-on training for first responders.

    Chevrolet and OnStar worked with the NFPA to develop this program to ensure firefighters and first responders are equipped with information and resources regarding electric vehicles.

    “With the Chevrolet Volt and other electric vehicles about to hit the streets, it is important to know that first responders have all the information they need about this technology,” said Andrew Klock, NFPA’s senior project manager for this initiative. “First responders have a long history of successfully adapting their response to new vehicles and equipment in order to protect the public, as well as themselves.”

    The collaboration with Chevrolet and OnStar includes the co-development of safety resources, including Web-based training materials, an extrication video and shared resources for instructor-led safety presentations.

    November 12, 2010 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Hoosier

    Doesn't bother me a bit - AS LONG AS THEY PAY FULL PRICE AND DON"T GET ANY GOVERNMENT REFUNDS FOR THE BUY!!

    November 12, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. One-Eyed-Jacks

    What a bunch of ACCOUNTNG Bull$#!+ !! This is another excellent reason NOT to buy any electric vehicle. How stupid does GE, GM and the grubernment think people are????

    November 12, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    The Volt will have a forty (40) mile range on 10.4 kilowatts. Eighteen cents a kilowatt (NJ price) X 10.4 kilowatts hours equals one dollar and eighty seven cents.

    You can get a Ford Fiesta for 13,000.00 dollars and get 40 miles per gallon and pay 2.57 (NJ price) a gallon for fuel (gasoline) or pay 41,000.00 dollars, 300.00 dollars for your home charging unit, plus 1000.00 dollars to have an electric guy install you pretty new charging unit near the driveway and only pay 1.87 for the same 40 mile range. Savings of .70 cents per gallon. Over a hundred thousand miles you'll use either 2,500 gallon of gasoline 6,425 dollars of gasoline for the Ford Fiesta or 4,675 dollars in electric for the Volt. You savings buying the Volt would be 1,750 dollars over 100,000 miles.

    Lets see....41,000.00 plus 2,870.00 NJ Sales tax, plus 1300.00 charging unit/electric guy equals 45,170.00 dollars. Ford Fiesta 13,000.00 plus 910.00 NJ sales tax equals 13,910.00. 45,170.00 minus 13,910.00 equals 31,260.00 minus saving for using electric power 1,750.00. equals 29,510.00 dollars.

    Out of pocket expense to save the planet 29,510.00 dollars. Lets now include after 100,000 miles the Volt will need 310 pounds of new Lithium-ion batteries. Next time you're at Staples, ask the sales person to point you to the laptop battery section. See how much 310 pounds of laptop batteries cost.

    There's one more "little problem" batteries don't like cold weather. The Volt needs their batteries to be "warmed" up to 32 degrees before charging.

    Another "Little problem" it takes one (1.04) pounds of coal to make a Kilowatt hour of electric power. 50% of US electric power comes from coal. Forty miles or 10.4 kilowatts hours burn 10.8 pounds of coal. 2500 kilowatts hours of electric (100,000 miles) will need to burn 27,000 pounds of coal. 13.5 tons of coal per vehicle over 100,000 miles.

    Again, another "Little Problem" the US Treasury will lose 7,500.00 dollars for each of these vehicles sold. Add this to the 14,000,000,000.00 debt.

    GE (Government Electric) is buying 12,000 Volts from GM (Government Motors). 29,510.00 dollars... Volt extra cost over Ford Fiesta (Money lost on saving the planet) times 12,000 units equals 354,120,000.00 million extra dollars and one hundred and sixty-two tons of coal (162 thousand tons) Or 13 million railroad hopper cars full of coal. Another way of looking at it, 324 million pounds of coal will run 12,000 Chevy volts.
    Do we understand, thirteen million train hoppers full of coal. Or, eighty-six thousand (86,000) train runs with one-hundred and fifty cars (hoppers) per run. Which is Forty seven (150 hoppers car trains) of coal per day for five years to fuel 12,000 Chevy Volts. Forty seven coal mines will run a train a day (150 hoppers) to fuel 12,000 Chevy Volts.

    Who's running GE.

    Let go Green with a little carbon mixed in.

    I'm living in the Twilight zone.

    November 12, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      You really have to factor the replacement battery cost into the mileage calc as it is part of the fuel cost. LI-ion batteries also lose up to 35% of their capacity per year, especially in hot application 104 degrees F +. This means more frequent charging. 100,000 miles is a pipe dream and probably assumes some gas mileage in the mix. At 40miles per charge, pure electric use will be 2500 charge cycles over 100,000 miles. Current LI-ion batteries have a maximum of 1000 cycles. That's 40,000 miles to replacement, with declining performance in years 2-3. Probably see 20 mile range limit in year 3 and earlier replacement to maintain useability. My feeling is that is GM continues down this road, it will be looked at a major fraud perpetrated on the American people and damage GMs reputation even further.

      Normal repair costs will apply to the electric as well, and should be included in cost of ownership, but are probably similar to gas costs, so they don't matter for comparison purposes.

      The battery is rated at 16kWh, probably differing from your 10.4 number based on electrical accessory usage. Material cost alone to replace the Volt's 16kWh battery would be $6976 based on $436/kWh http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/149.pdf There also likely to be taxes/fees created for battery disposal as 310 lbs of hazardous material is a significant issue. With a projected car life of 200,000 miles, the Volt will generate 1550 lbs of hazardous waste on top of its coal use over its lifetime. That's a huge carbon footprint.

      The 32degreeF you mentioned is not only an inconvenience, but also a safety issue, as batteries may explode below this temp. Charger will probably lock out below that temp.

      The landscape will change again when the first cars start exploding or catching fire from thermal runaway, or physical damage (Li-ion batteries also burn or explode on contact with air).

      November 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Stinger68

    Lets add it all up. G.M. Unions recieved BILLIONS in bailout and stimulus TAXPAYER money. G.E. recieved BILLIONS in bailout and stimulus TAXPAYER money. G.E. who produces the charging stations with TAXPAYER stimulus money, wants to buy 25,000 Volts built with TAXPAYER stimulus money. Along with the fleet discount from G.M., G.E. will recieve a $7,500 TAXPAYER provided credit per vehical. This kind of circular fraud and corruption against the American taxpayers would make any Chicago Democrat Politician proud!

    November 12, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. One-Eyed-Jacks

    To: Jim in Texas

    "...Ford did not require a bailout was that they refinanced a huge portion of the company, and were sitting on mountains of cash, right before the subprime crisis hit in 2008. They were lucky – ..."

    Baloney... don't assert away what Ford did as "lucky", that was a bold and smart move. Unlike GM running to their momma (the US grubernment) and clining to her skirt, wimpering like a little baby (with her little union playmates).

    November 12, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. thoughtchallenge

    The oil industry has been getting tax breaks and other incentives for years. Corn and timber also receive subsidies. Really the list goes on and on. Maybe we should have a discussion about the need to end special tax breaks, subsidies and other incentives, but we should do it across the board and not leave anyone out of the discussion. What about those baseball fields like the one at Arlington, funded by tax payers for mutli-million dollar athletes to play a game for multi-billion dollar corporations? Yea, I get it, its a problem, but lets get real and not suggest that somehow its only one party or one ideology.

    November 14, 2010 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. tateofpa

    Why would anybody get involved in this IPO, they have not fix the problems yet and if you purchase stock you are setting yourself to have you money sent to the unions. That is what happen to me the last time. They should have went through bankruptcy and did the reorganizations the most companies go through, but instead the help the unions and screwed those that purchase their stock, all because this administration want to help out the unions.

    November 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. thomas hellmue

    ford took a 9 billion dollar loan june 25 2005 from the federal government to finance operations, maybe that is why they were sitting on that pile of cash. look it up google "ford takes gov loan" there it is bold and true

    March 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15