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GE to buy 12,000 Chevy Volts
General Electric will convert half its 30,000 worldwide fleet of vehicles to electrics, including purchasing 12,000 cars from GM beginning with the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the company said today.

In all, the Fairfield, Conn.-based company, which makes charging stations, will purchase 25,000 plug-in electric cars by 2015, adding electric vehicles from other automakers as they expand their lineup of battery-powered cars

The first Volts start rolling off the assembly line at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant this month. In its first year, GM plans to sell only 10,000 Volts, eventually expanding production to 45,000 in 2012. A GM spokesman said this morning that it won't ramp up production further to fill GE's order. GE will receive its first 1,000 Volts in mid to late 2011 with 2,000 to 3,000 more arriving each following year until 2015, GM said. The automaker wouldn't release details about how much GE is paying for the bulk fleet order or the shipping costs.

GM CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement issued by the automaker that GE's commitment reflects its confidence in electric vehicles.

"It is also a vote of confidence in the Chevrolet Volt, which we will begin delivering to retail customers by the end of this year," Akerson added.

"We are pleased that the Volt will play a major role in this program, which will spur innovation and benefit our companies, our customers, and society as a whole."

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