GE to buy 2,000 Ford plug-in hybrid vehicles

Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:33pm EST

1 of 2. A GE logo is seen in a store in Santa Monica, California, October 11, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

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(Reuters) - General Electric Co will buy 2,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles made by Ford Motor Co for its corporate fleet, the companies said on Tuesday.

As part of the deal for the Ford C-Max Energi vehicles, the automaker said it would jointly market GE's alternative fuel infrastructure technology, including charging stations and natural gas fueling stations, to its commercial buyers.

The agreement is Ford's largest plug-in electrified vehicle fleet sale to date.

GE, the largest U.S. conglomerate, has set a target to convert half of its global fleet to alternative fuel vehicles. The purchase from Ford brings the number of such vehicles in GE's fleet to more than 5,000, compared with its goal of 25,000.

In May, GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said people might be disappointed in the adoption rate of electric vehicles, but his company would continue investing in battery technology to reflect its confidence in them.

Electric vehicles carry an expensive battery and typically cost more than a conventional vehicle of similar size. Sales of such vehicles thus far have been modest and below some initial expectations.

GE and Ford also said they would work with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to study GE employee driving and charging habits, with the goal of improving all-electric driving and charging performance.

Study findings will be shared with commercial customers to provide insights and help facilitate deployment of electric vehicles in their own fleets.

The C-Max Energi, which sells for nearly $30,000 after a federal tax credit, went on sale last month. It can drive about 21 miles in all-electric mode before a gas engine kicks in and gets the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon as rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

(Reporting By Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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Comments (3)
Numb3rTech wrote:
Sounds like a better investment than the GM Volt. I rarely drive over 15 miles round trip to anywhere, except for vacation. One of the Ford Hybrids sounds like an ideal vehicle for me. On vacation, however, I would prefer to use my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. It has all of the creature comforts I desire and gets decent mileage for a heavy 4wd vehicle.

The Ford Hybrid would get me all over town to the grocery store and doctors or wherever. I do not drive 1,000 miles/year and only travel on vacation about once every 5 years. I currently only have to fill up my Jeep about once every other month. Guess I don’t have much of a life away from home, but that is okay.

Nov 20, 2012 9:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
Majick1 wrote:
Nice article about GE and Ford’s venture, and the GM sign in the picture:
1 shows Reuters is a GM or nothing company
2 Reuters is run by morons

When the biggest company in the US commits to going electric for a large part of its fleet it can only mean a giant leap forward for the fast construction of charging station infrastructure. I hope they work along with Tesla who has promised a large push on charging infrastructure this year.
The biggest detriment to EV technology was the car industry rejecting the Switch proposal where they standardize their battery configuration and buy batteries from Switch. Consumers would only have to pay a small fee to swap a fully charged battery to extend a long trip. The specifications were designed to produce a swap in about the same time as filling up your gas tank.
There is a lot of good ideas out there, the problem is getting manufacturers to adopt them

Nov 20, 2012 5:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Majick1 wrote:
Good job Reuters, much better article with the correct pictures. Nice to know someone reads comments and actually acts on it

Nov 20, 2012 6:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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