It’s somewhat fitting that a company that’s big lately on EV (electric vehicle) chargers is trying to spur the adoption of electric EVs — and avoid a chicken and egg problem — by committing to replace half its global automotive fleet with EVs by 2015. All told, that means that in less than 5 years, there will be 25,000 GE fleet and customer fleet vehicles running on plug-in power.
It’s also welcome news for GM, which will provide at least 12,000 of those vehicles starting with the Volt in 2011. It should be noted that the Volt isn’t a pure EV and its use of the gas engine to help drive the wheels under certain conditions is causing a fair bit of controversy. Still, it’s a plug-in, and one of many that GE hopes will help spark a cycle that blends the smart grid, energy storage, renewable energy and EV chargers into a half-billion dollar, EV supply chain opportunity for the company. Add lower carbon emissions (and an undercurrent of green jobs creation) and what you get looks a lot like the infographic above.
Also check out the GE-supplied video of the announcement below, which features two pretty prominent CEOs in the cleantech space today, namely GE’s Jeff Immelt and GM’s Daniel F. Akerson.
Yeah, it sounds both a bit ambitious and a bit insular — GE fleet vehicles and GE EV charging tech… But it bodes well for the fledgling EV space at large. How? GE’s commitment gets more Chevy Volts — and other plug-ins don’t forget — onto the streets, building visibility. And as GM is about to find out, fleet sales, while unsexy, soak up a lot of vehicle production. And if it helps production shift toward EVs, and if consumers come along for the ride, GE could help add some momentum to an EV supply chain with a lot of players, innovative startups included.