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GE to buy 25,000 electric vehicles, 12,000 Chevy Volts

General Electric is giving General Motors' Volt a big sales lift as it announced plans to buy 25,000 electric vehicles. Of that sum, GE will acquire 12,000 Chevy Volts.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

General Electric is giving General Motors' Chevrolet Volt a big sales lift as it announced plans to buy 25,000 electric vehicles.

Of that sum, GE will acquire 12,000 Chevy Volts.

The news comes as GE plans to convert half of its global fleet to electric vehicles by 2015. Meanwhile, the company is opening "customer experience centers" for EVs in Michigan and Minnesota.

GE said it will buy the 12,000 Volts in 2011 and add other models as automakers produce EVs.

Also see: First drive: Chevrolet Volt

The move comes as GE is aiming to roll out electric vehicle infrastructure such as its WattStation. GE has also formed partnerships with other EV players like Better Place.

GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement that "electric vehicle technology is real and ready for deployment. By electrifying our own fleet, we will accelerate the adoption curve, drive scale, and move electric vehicles from anticipation to action."

Indeed, GE's move to EVs will provide a good proof point for GM and others watching the market. GE estimates that it will gain up to $500 million in revenue over the next three years from EVs. In some respects, GE is looking to jumpstart EV adoption. If the company can boost production of EVs it can lower costs.

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As for its customer experience centers, GE will build one outside Detroit with another in Eden Prairie, Minn. These centers will evaluate charging performance, driver experience, service requirements and other efficiencies.

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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