General Electric has committed to the Chevrolet Volt with an order that rivals the electric vehicle's first year of output. As part of its goal to convert half of its global fleet to EVs by 2015, GE has requested 12,000 Volts with delivery starting in 2011.
The tall EV order for 2015 consists of 25,000 total vehicles, with the Volt making up nearly half. Sure, the Volt's exact operating nature has been picked to pieces, but both GE and General Motors are adamant this will be the largest-ever single EV order in history and a significant step for EVs as a whole. GE has one of the world's largest fleets and another 65,000 global fleet customers around the world. These customers turn to GE for their fleet management experience.
"Electric vehicle technology is real and ready for deployment and we are embracing the transformation with partners like GM and our fleet customers," said Jeff Immelt, GE chairman and CEO. "By electrifying our own fleet, we will accelerate the adoption curve, drive scale, and move electric vehicles from anticipation to action."
The major fleet orders, according to FedEx chairman, president, and CEO Fred Smith, will help GM's production plans and eventually drive down consumer Volt prices. Smith also says there were over 16.3 million fleet vehicles in operation in 2009 across the United States.
As you'd expect, GE has its hand in the EV market as well, thanks to the global conglomerate's Capital Fleet Services, Energy, and Licensing & Trading divisions. With products like its electrical transformers, circuit protection equipment, and WattStation charging station, GE projects up to $500 million in revenue will be generated through evolving electric car developments over the next three years.
Production of the 2011 Chevy Volt has already started at GM's Hamtramck plant in Michigan. While the plant expects to put out 10,000 to 15,000 Volts during its launch year, it fully expects to crank up the lines to 60,000 Volts per year by 2012.
Source: General Motors