US electrical giant GE is to buy 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015 – the largest-ever single electric vehicle purchase.
The company has revealed it willinitially buy 12,000 vehicles from General Motors, beginning next year with the Chevrolet Volt, which roll off production lines this month.
GE owns one of the world’s largest car fleets and the company plans “to lead wide-scale electric vehicle adoption and generate growth for its businesses”.
“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 Jeff Immelt. “By electrifying our own fleet, we will accelerate the adoption curve, drive scale, and move electric vehicles from anticipation to action.
“We make technology that touches every point of the electric vehicle infrastructure and are leading the transformation to a smarter electrical grid,” he added. “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.”
General Motors chief executive Dan Akerson said: “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.”
GE has committed itself to building renewable energy bases in the UK following the £60m allocated to UK ports for wind turbine handling upgrades.