GE plans on having half of its 45,000 employees driving electric vehicles as part of a $10b investment in clean technology over the next five years, and it’s kicking off the effort with an order of “tens of thousands” of EVs according to Bloomberg. Making the announcement at an event sponsored by the University of Cambridge’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership, GE CEO Jeffery Immelt told attendees
Now is exactly the time, because it’s less popular, where we have to invest more. We have to do it more courageously. And we’re going to have to go forward for a while without government at our backs
Experts call the buy the largest EV purchase in history, and say they expect the order to be filled by several companies. But, as a partner of Nissan-Renault ally Project Better Place, we expect the majority of GE’s order to be filled with the first mass-market pure EV, the Nissan Leaf. Much ink has been spilled over the long-term viability of electric vehicles on the consumer market, but little attention has been paid to corporations as a driver of EV sales. It’s possible that GE could be the first of a PR-driven corporate push to bring EVs into wider acceptance.