Expect more of this kind of news: General Electric has seen the writing on the wall and has decided to buy 25,000 electric vehicles for its fleet by 2015. They will make an initial purchase of 12,000 GM cars, beginning with the Chevy Volt.
This is good news on a number of fronts. Most importantly, tens of thousands of electric vehicles on the road means that much less oil needs to be drilled, transported, sold and burned in the United States. The next phase in a 21st century grid will require less coal and natural gas burning, but less demand for oil is good for the environment and our national security. It demonstrates that electric vehicles are viable transportation choices for fleet cars, which means cars like the Volt will be on the road and visible to the public in greater numbers sooner. It will allow for smarter grid technologies to be implemented in more places. It will help push the cost of electric vehicles lower moving forward. Hundreds of thousands of electric vehicle sales will have to be made to start doing this. The more, the merrier. This will have a direct and nearly immediate benefit to GE – they are developing charging stations to sell. There’s nothing like real-world use to make charging stations’ performance more efficient and robust.