It was always going to be a tall order to fill; one company, 25,000 plug-in vehicles.
It was in 2010, that General Electric said that they were going to replace the bulk of their fleet with plug-in electric vehicles by 2015, and at the time the Chevrolet Volt was heralded as being a major piece of this revolution, and according to Deb Frodl, the division's chief strategy officer, it still is. Just not as big.
The problem stems from the people getting the vehicles simply do not all want small, one function, sedans, they want some utility - trucks, vans, SUVs.
“It’s the demand of our customers,” Ms. Frodl said. “There are so many technologies out there and our customers need a variety of technologies in their fleet today, not just one. We’re not picking winners and losers.”
So now, about 10,000 purchases into the program, GE has started to add other alternative fuel vehicles into their fleet mix of 30,000 corporate vehicles, like natural gas-powered pickups and propane-fueled vehicles.
A Deal To Exclusively Promote GE WattStations May Have Something To Do With General Electric's Continuing Commitment To Ford's Plug-In Products
GE does take time to herald the new C-Max Energi, a vehicle that is taking a step in the right direction for drivers that need more than 100 miles of range and a little more functionality on the way.
GE expects the bulk of their recent 2,000 C-Max Energi purchase to be put in place by February of this year.
However, the skeptic in us says that these confirmed purchases have more to do with an exculusivity deal between GE and Ford to promote their lineup of WattStation EV chargers than the C-Max Energi's usefulness.
The new plan still involves 25,000 plug-ins at some point, but now GE hopes to move 10,000 units to its fleet customers (of about 65,000) and the balance for its own corporate needs.