A fair assessment, judging by the press its getting by winning The North American Car of the Year title. And if you’re in any way invested in the EV ecosystem, there’s reason to be happy.
GE spokesman Robert Peterson thinks that the other General’s win (GM) is significant because it represents a not only a significant milestone — winning over the hearts and minds of the automotive journalists behind the award — but also a huge shift in how the public will come to regard plug-ins and EVs. (Nissan’s Leaf was another finalist.) And needless to say, GE’s stake in an EV-packed future is a big one.
In this GE Reports Q&A, Peterson spells out what increased consumer acceptance and the eventual adoption of electric vehicles means for his company and another players working toward a low-carbon automotive marketplace. He states:
“What we’re seeing here is that as that equation changes, the excitement around it begins to permeate into entirely different areas. It’s not just the automotive media, it’s not just the automotive consumer, but it’s also the venture capitalists, the small businesses, the inventors, the innovators. It’s these people who are seeing a new transportation equation.”
That equation, should it materialize, would undoubtedly buoy GE in the decades to come. According to Pike Research, 4.7 million charge points will be installed between 2010 and 2015 worldwide. Additionally, plugging cars into the grid will require significant investments in power grids and EV charging infrastructures. GE is already tackling both by cooking up EV charging stations like its futuristic Wattstation and boosting its smart grid and renewable energy portfolios. Plus, the company is doing its part to spur demand in the most direct way possible by acquiring 25,000 EVs by 2015 — an amount that includes the Volt.
And it’s not just GE that that has reason to cheer on the Volt and autos like it. ABB just poured $10 million into Ecotality, a firm that develops fast battery charging tech. And as this Venturebeat post notes, Siemens has partnered with fellow EV-charging startup Coulomb Technologies and Tesla’s getting $30 million from Panasonic, which supplies its batteries.
Image credit: GM