GE to Order ‘Tens of Thousands’ Electric Vehicles

by | Oct 29, 2010

GE’s chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt said in a recent speech that the company will order “tens of thousands” of electric vehicles (EVs) in about a week, which he says will be the largest in history, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

No additional details were provided about the order. However, Bloomberg reports that Immelt said half of GE’s sales force of about 45,000 will drive electric vehicles.

Brett Smith, a vehicle technology analyst at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said in the article that “it’s the biggest order to date I’m aware of, by a lot.” He expects an order of this size to go to several vehicle makers.

Currently, several automakers are getting ready to sell EVs over the next 18 months. These include Nissan’s Leaf, Chevy’s Volt, and Ford’s Transit Connect delivery van and Focus.

Any boost in electric vehicle sales would add to GE’s bottom line as it expands its clean energy technology including car chargers. Gary Sheffer, a GE spokesman, told Bloomberg that for every dollar of electric-vehicle sales, the company may get 10 cents in revenue.

In September, GE and Better Place announced a partnership to accelerate the global deployment of EV infrastructure, with one goal of converting corporate fleets to electric vehicles. The partnership leverages GE’s technology portfolio, smart grid expertise, and its new WattStation electric vehicle charger with Better Place’s EV services and infrastructure solution.

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