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GE plans to buy 25K electric vehicles from GM, others

Last week General Electric Company announced that it will buy 25,000 electric vehicles from General Motors and other manufacturers by 2015. This is the biggest order ever placed for EVs.

The order includes 12,000 from GM, starting with the Chevrolet Volt for 2011. GE said in a statement that it will include others as manufacturers add EVs to their line-ups.

GM’s release said, “With a tipping point now occurring in terms of EV production, charging technology and consumer interest, the EV landscape is now focusing on what can drive the market on a large scale. For example, global charging infrastructure is set to grow exponentially over the next five years, from about 20,000 charging stations in 2010 to 3 million by 2015.”

And the availability of places across the country to “fill ‘er up” is one of the drawbacks to vehicles that have a hundred-mile electric power limitation and require a night to recharge. New battery technology and innovations to shorten charging times are on the horizon; a purchase order of this magnitude is expected to spur demand for EVs as well as progress in battery and charging improvements.

New vehicles powered solely by batteries are on the way: Nissan’s Leaf hatchback due late 2010, Ford’s electric versions of Focus compact in late 2011 and Transit Connect delivery van, and Toyota’s rechargeable RAV4.

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