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Natural gas vehicles join GE’s electric fleet

A commitment to electric cars from energy giant, GE, is taking a detour, according to Bloomberg.com this morning. Two years ago, the firm promised to buy 25,000 electric vehicles, now that pledge incorporates natural gas and LPG vehicles among its fleet of around 11,000 alternative fuel vehicles.Chevrolet Volt in red According to Deb Frodl, chief strategy officer of GE’s corporate fleet service unit, the change comes in response to consumer demand for more options for alternative fuel vehicles. When GE first made its pledge in 2010, it was seen as an important backing of a fledging market for electric vehicles. But the change in buying strategy at GE reflects a wider trend according to analysts, as businesses struggle to balance demands for greater energy efficiency against purchase cost considerations. “Many companies say they want to think about what their reliance on oil is, but there’s a disconnect we’ve been tracking for a couple of years now between chief executive officers’ goals and their purchasing managers’ decisions”, Scott Sarazen, global cleantech practice leader at Ernst & Young, tells the publication. GE owns around 30,000 vehicles for use by its own employees and manages around 1.4 million for lease customers. Many of its alternative fuel vehicles are Ford and GM vehicles, with the Chevrolet Volt among its first electric vehicle purchases. Demand from fleet customers for more choice means that GE’s suppliers will need to offer a broader range of alternative fuel vehicles in the near future, says Frodl. More on this story, here.

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Faye Sunderland

Filed under: Electric cars, Hybrid cars

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