GE Promises to Continue Support for EV's Despite Slow Sales
April 25, 2012 9:40 AM
GE still believes in the future of EVs
So far, the time hasn't been right for electric vehicles in the United States. Some hybrid vehicles are selling well, but pure EV's are still far from mainstream. There are many reasons why EVs haven't caught on with consumers, one of which is the fact that EV's cost significantly more than comparable gasoline- or diesel-engined vehicles.
The biggest issue continues to be the battery packs, which simply lack the range many drivers desire. In addition, those battery packs have a finite lifespan causing concern for the future.
General Electric and automotive companies are continuing to push electric vehicles in spite of poor sales and poor consumer interest overall. GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt recently stated that his company is committed to electric vehicles.
Companies such as
and others are key to making electric vehicles more mainstream. Much of the research into cheaper and more efficient battery packs is being conducted outside of the traditional automotive industry, and is being carried out by
companies with backgrounds in advanced technology and battery development
GE isn't new to the EV game; the company has been involved for many years. According to Immelt, "For every dollar invested in electric vehicles, GE has 10 cents of content."
He also notes that the near-term challenge for electric vehicle makers is going to be all about cost. Battery packs need to be cheaper. Another near-term challenge will be the rollout of a recharging infrastructure to allow drivers to roam further in their EVs and have places to plug in.
GE isn't only working to make EVs cheaper; it's also actively buying EVs for its own use. Late last year the company committed to buying 25,000 plug-in hybrids and EVs. That included about 12,000
GE spokesman Andrew Williams adds, "We are buying cars from GM, Ford, Nissan and Mitsubishi as they become available for our customers and our fleet."
GE will use 15,000 of the EVs it buys in its own enterprise and lease 10,000 more to other companies.
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