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

soundoff (383 Responses)
  1. Jim T

    Anyone have any idea how much it cost to replace the batteries in one of these cars?? The prius battery's go for around $2500 and that is a small battery compared to this thing. Also, how much electricity does it take to charge the battery every night, I assume the local electric company will still charge and not give that up for free?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas

      The Volt battery pack has a 100,000 mile warranty. Right now, replacements I beleive are around $10K. Understand that this is a lithium-ion pack – not the out of date NMH battery in a Prius or other hybrids.

      By the time replacements are needed, the production volume on the Volt batteries will be many times what it is now, and cost should drop proportionately.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas

      Article above is from the Wall Street Journal. A writer who normally bashes GM calls the Volt – " A win for the Home Team:.

      As for how much power – the Volt uses about as much power to drive a mile as what your hair dryer requires to run about 15 minutes. Cost per mile for fuel is low single digit cents per mile – depending on your electrical rates.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BuckeyeBubba

    My son works for GM at the Lordstown Assembly plant building the Cruze. He's been there for 12 years. He says that the Volt is junk and not worth the money.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. felicity

    Oh yea, let's all buy a Volt...the electric Edsel.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AG52

    So Jim, what you're saying is that GE does not have a specific purpose for the use of these cars at the present time. This is a business decision they are making now (to promote these vehicles) for what they see coming in a few years (profit-wise). I certainly have nothing against that.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • GEShareholderno

      Spending nearly $1 BILLION on vehicles with no defined business purpose is a large sum to explain to shareholders for a social experiment to hope profits will follow. The infrastructure alone to manage this fleet will cost thousands for each vehicle. and as Jim mentioned, GE will need to plan up to $10k each for 25k vehicles just for the batteries. I'm sure the Finance team at GE is thrilled with determining the MIRR on this PROJECT.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas


      You are acting like they are spending $1 billion MORE for the Volt. What is they just bought the same number of $30,000 "regular" cars? Considering the future impllications and benefits to GE of widespread adoption of EV's – the incremental cost of the Volt is a No Brainer.

      November 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. felicity

    @Jim in Texas I"s that why there are already far more deposits on hand from people who want to buy a Volt than there will be available in the first year of production? Educate yourself about the facts before you criticize. The Volt will be the most significant new car introduction in decades."

    Uh-huh. My question to you is...where exactly are the charging stations in this country? The car is NOT totally electric; it also has a backup gas tank. The battery runs down the middle of the car, which makes the interior hot; and the battery, should it die and need to be replaced, costs $4,000.00. Now if I'm paying $41,000.00 for a car, and I can't charge it anywhere, and I have to put gas in it anyway, why not buy something more economical? The problem with you 'educated' people is that you have no common sense.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas

      Actually, felicity, the Volt battery pack costs even more than $4k – but has a full warranty for 100,000 miles.

      If you would prefer an EV with no on-board generating capability – then buy a Nissan Leaf. That way when you get too far from home, you can stand there by the side of the road with your extension cord in hand – and hope someone with a generator comes along to help you.

      I call designing an "extended range" EV – a vehicle that can make most trips on all electrical power, while having the reserve range to go anyone you want – the very epitmoe of "common sense".

      November 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas


      Last time I checked – an internal combustion engine – with a red hot exhaust running under the car – including what is often a "white hot" catalytic converter – generates a heck of a lot more heat than a battery pack. Does your car run on cold fusion or something?

      November 11, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jovan Jaratz

    Of those 12,000 "orders" for the Molt, how many are from freaky green lefties who will buy it and drive it to the airport so they can get on their Lear jets?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JustAGuy

    The Aveo5 get 3 mpg hwy less than the VOLT and it's 1/4 the cost. To a business, which car makes sense? The answer is obvious, so why is GE buying the VOLT? It makes NO sense!

    November 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas

      Did you like the flat panel TV's when they first came out – You know – $10,000 for a 42" plasma ?? Did you get so focused on the price that you failed to recognize the huge leap in technology. Do 42" plasma's still cost $10K ???

      The Volt is to the automobile world what the flat panel was to TV's.

      No one is forcing you to be an "early adopter" and the Volt will be EXTREMELY hard to get until GM can ramp up production to fill the orders already received. GE is making a very shrewd move, priming the pump for the huge expansion in EV use that is coming, one which they can tap into to sell billions of switchgear, charging stations, etc.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustAGuy

      Tell me which flat-panel TV manufacture involved taxpayer dollars when they were costing $10,000?

      The car is over-priced and under-performing, and us taxpayers will be subsidizing this modern-day Edsel.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • GEShareholderno

      The dramatic reduction in price for plasma TVs is due to semi-conductor evolutionary changes. The price of electronics continues to make dramatic reductions daily. However, until someone figures out how to make an affordable energy source for vehicles that can be charged in a few minutes at the local 'magical' fueling station, this product will not drop in price any time soon (next 10 years or MORE). Not the same thing....

      November 11, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas

      Show me where GM – and not the liberal Democrats who pushed Fannie Mae into subprimes – caused the financial meltdown that made the U.S. car market drop by 40% overnight.

      The GM "reorganization" would have been better under a Republican president who didn't pander to the union. It would maybe have even been better in a traditional bankruptcy court – but that option was NOT there during the height of the financial crisis. (Exactly WHO at that time was going to provider the financing??)

      If you would have let GM just fail – then Ford – relying on many of the same supplier companies – would have failed also.

      I was not any happier about the financial meltdown in 2008 than you were – but I also understand that if Bush did not step in – then the "chain reaction" of cascading businesses failing would have been far worse. If you want to be angry about – or think we need to "learn a lesson" from what happended – then that lesson is NOT that we shouldn't have saved GM and prevented more collateral damage – it's that we should never have allowed politicians like Barney Frank to re-write the underwriting standards for the mortgage industry. Barney, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters, and others were "just trying to help poor people buy a house", and they damn near crashed our entire economy with their efforts.

      November 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Buck N Farack

    What'a Joke: Let's see, the Shove-it Volt get 40 miles on electricity (which is mostly produced by coal), then it runs on gas lugging around the useless weight of batteries. WHAT A DAM JOKE! And the BHO Government will shove it down our throats.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Al Blodgett

    Two questions:
    1. Will the purchase be government subsidized so the public is really buying them?
    2. Are the batteries coming from the battery manufacturing plant in Michigan that the governent paid for?
    Maybe these will be available as gifts to taxpayers.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steven J Pruner

    Normally, vehicles are rated with the number of miles traveled and then the reserve capacity. The Volt gets 40 miles on one charge and 350 miles on the gasoline reserve engine. Stupid liberals... they can sell cars either!!!

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

    There's more to this than a car that's not-yet-ready-for-prime-time.

    There's collusion going on between the Obama Administration, GM, UAW and GE. There's nothing cute about it. Us taxpayers will be left holding the bag with this one. And it's ugly!

    November 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chuck Runyon

    I agree GM is making great cars and is profitable, but they were set to do this without a government take over. Under Wagner Gm was looking to 2010 and the last quarter the profits would start rolling in based on new contract prices. All i want is my stock money back or better yet the government can give me my share of the company they took in their bailout of the union pensions.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Most likely scenario..

    Is that the Obama people are secretly channeling taxpayer money to GE for this publicity stunt and the real kicker is that this will be a "paper" transaction. That is, GE will never actually receive the cars but the books will be cooked to make it appear so. Whole thing just a sham to prop up epically failing Chi-Com/Obama motors.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tom

    If the Volt is such a wonderful vehicle why does the government need to give a $7,000 tax credit to entice people to purchase. Because it is a fraud and peolple need to be pursuaded to buy. Do you understand why Apple never discount the Iphone or Itouch or Ipad, because it is an outstanding product that, wait for it, poeple actually want. There is no real market or demand for an electric car so the government tries to artificially create one. The Volt will be a disister because there is no demand and it does not truly deliver what it says it will. Watch and time will prove me correct.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas

      Why offer a $7,000 incentive? Well – what happens when a beneficial new technology is adopted, and the volume of products based on that technology greatly increases? The price comes DOWN, and the volume (and benefits to the country) goes up even faster.

      If you think using our existing electrical grid – largely during "non-peak" times (such as at night in hot climate states) to provide energy for transportation – is a good thing – then that is why we should prime the pump to get more EV's into use. If you think we are better off importing more oil to provide the energy for that transportation – then I guess the $7,000 is wasted. In the long run, if we can shift even 10 or 15% of our transportation energy needs to EV's – we will be much better off. Yes – there is still a cost to this energy, but it is far cheaper per mile than oil. Yes – it still produces pollution to generate electricity, but you can "scrub" the output of a power plant much easiler than 100,000 tailpipes, and what pollution does get produced generating electricty often occurs far away from large cities with air quality problems.

      No "demand" for the Volt?? It is basically sold out already for the first year.

      November 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jovan Jaratz

      Brilliant, GE Jim. I'll make 2 "cars" that run on rubber bands. Have two people buy them. And brag they're sold out.

      10,000? Let's look at sales for the Ford Focus for the last few years:

      Calendar Year American sales
      1999 55,846
      2000 286,166
      2001 –
      2002 243,199
      2003 229,353
      2004[65] 208,339
      2005 184,825
      2006 177,006
      2007 173,213
      2008 195,823
      2009 160,433

      That's the Ford Focus. And I see about 2 of those a week.

      November 12, 2010 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rob

    I am happy to provide a $7500 tax credit to Government Motors and all other rich buyers of the volt increase the use of lithium and other "green" materials to build cars most people don't want

    November 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
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