GE to make huge electric-vehicle purchase, half of sales force will drive EVs

GE WattStation Electric-Vehicle Charger

Corporate powerhouse GE has announced that it will be placing the largest order known to date for electric-vehicles. CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in a statement in London that the company will be ordering “˜tens of thousands” electric cars for its sales force. “This is a huge step up,” said Brett Smith, a vehicle technology analyst at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “It”s the biggest order to date I”m aware of, by a lot.”

Immelt didn”t identify a supplier or exact number of cars to be purchased, but he did say that half of GM”s sales force of 45,000 will drive electric vehicles “GE has been one of the biggest players in this game and certainly has a lot to gain from the electric vehicle,” said Brett Smith, a vehicle technology analyst at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. “They”ve really truly tried to push this hard to get things going, and it seems to be a core corporate value.”

An order of this magnitude is the type of order that creates jobs and stimulates sectors. An order of this size is most likely to be split between multiple automakers. There are three automakers who will have vehicles that can fill this order in the next 18 months; Nissan, Ford, and Toyota.

“Now is exactly the time, because it”s less popular, where we have to invest more,” Immelt said. “We have to do it more courageously. And we”re going to have to go forward for a while without government at our backs.”

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: BusinessWeek