For GE, the future is Chevy's Volt

Posted by Shane McGlaun

For an individual, moving to a hybrid or electric vehicle may or may not pan out in the long run.

But what about a corporation that operates a large fleet of vehicles? Well, fuel savings for large companies obviously add up quite quickly.

And that is probably why GE has decided that all company vehicle purchases previously expected to be made in the form of sedans, crossovers, and minivans will be replaced with the Chevy Volt in 2012.

The only GE employees who won't have to drive the Volt are field engineers - presumably because they transport far too much hardware and equipment to fit in the vehicle.

GE also expects the drivers of company Volts to have Level 2 Charging Stations installed in their homes. If electricity isn't an option, employees will be reimbursed for gas.

The interesting part? GE is obviously looking to be a major player when it comes to EV charging stations. However, it remains unclear if GE will provide employees with free charging stations, or if workers will be expected to pay some sort of fee.

Unsurprisingly, GE confirmed that workers who don't want to drive the Volt won't be compensated for travel expenses, while workers who opt to drive the Volt will be reimbursed for mobile charging, home charging costs and gasoline use.

The most impressive part of the story is that GE reportedly ordered 12,000 Chevy Volts and other hybrid vehicles from GM, although the exact mix of Volts and those "other hybrids" is unknown. GE claims that moving to the Volt and away from normal gasoline vehicles will save the company a significant amount of money. It will also presumably generate an increase in sales of its home EV chargers, even if those sales are either free or discounted for employees.