"At least something is happening on our home turf in the lithium space - BASF now is very active in Europe - and we are pleased to see the company pushing in North America as well. If our expectations are correct, the wold will become a lot smaller according to Jeff Rubin. Time to market will mean distance to market. Lithium production in Nevada will make a picture even more stable. With time, even more expensive production, but on the home land will make sense during the Resource Grab stage of post QE recovery."
GE is up to its word and is ordering 25000 EVs - it is a huge endorsement from this powerful company for Electric Cars mass market. It is the first step and it is the most important one: commercial fleets are providing additional benefits to corporate owners - Eco friendly branding will the obvious one. GE is heavily involved in Electric Cars value chain already and choice to buy GM Volts should not surprise anyone - GE is holding a stake in A123 and A123 supplies batteries to GMVolt.
Now President Obama's target of 1 million Electric Cars on the roads by 2015 could be seen as a very modest one - we need just 40 other corporation like GE to fulfil his dream. Among interested parties are FedeEx, UPS, US Post, Avis, Herts and others.
"Potentially we can talk here about the order for EVs with a magnitude of tens of thousands electric cars which will be on the streets very soon. This is the step into the right direction! We hope that GE will not disappoint with the final numbers to be released next week. Adoption rate for EVs will depend on the production volume, which can allow to reduce the cost of Electric Cars. Commercial users - like GE - apart from all other benefits to the all other consumers will benefit in PR and brand building by projecting their environmentally friendly image. Commercial fleets will allow EV to gain momentum in the market place. Today we have a very important step into this direction - we think that other corporations will follow the GE lead."
November 11, 2010, 8:33 AM EST
By Rachel Layne
Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. will buy 25,000 electric vehicles, almost half of them from General Motors Co., by 2015 in the biggest such order ever.
Electric autos will make up at least half of GE’s 30,000- car fleet, as well as leased vehicles from its GE Capital unit, the company said in a statement today. GM’s portion of the order is for 12,000 vehicles including the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt is positioning Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE to benefit from more energy- efficient technologies by producing batteries, car-charging stations and smart-grid systems. GE said it’s in a “strong position” to help 65,000 leasing customers convert to electric vehicles and sees the electric-car market adding as much as $500 million in sales in the next three years.
“Wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles will also drive clean-energy innovation, strengthen energy security and deliver economic value,” Immelt said in the statement. GE’s equipment generates one-third of the world’s electricity.
GE’s order is a boost for the Volt as Detroit-based GM prepares for an initial public offering after its 2009 restructuring in bankruptcy.
“Electric vehicles are a real-world technology that can reduce both emissions and our dependence on oil,” GM CEO Dan Akerson said in the statement. The company plans to deliver Volts by the end of this year, he said. The sedan has an electric motor to drive the wheels and a gasoline engine to recharge the batteries once they’re spent.
In the U.S., the Obama administration has committed more than $11 billion in taxpayer aid to help car and battery makers start producing electric vehicles.
Other automakers preparing to sell vehicles powered solely by batteries in the next 18 months include Nissan Motor Co., which starts delivering Leaf hatchbacks late this year; Ford Motor Co., readying electric versions of its Transit Connect delivery van and Focus compact car; and Toyota Motor Corp., which will sell a rechargeable RAV4 sport-utility vehicle.
By buying so many vehicles, GE is helping drive down their price, which will spur production and increase demand for battery plants and other parts-makers, Fred Smith, chairman of the Electrification Coalition, a Washington-based organization of transportation and energy executives, said in the statement. Smith is CEO of FedEx Corp.
‘Acceptable to the Public’
The move will “make electric vehicles more visible and acceptable to the public at large,” Smith said. “This is good for GE, good for our economy and good for our nation.”
GE will open two customer centers to evaluate vehicle- charging, driver experience and maintenance requirements and to display an array of models and manufacturers. One will be near Detroit in Van Buren Township, Michigan, as part of a new technology center GE announced last year, and the other in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where GE Capital Fleet Services is based, according to the statement.
GE is investing $10 billion in the next five years in clean energy across its business lines. Its products include lithium- ion batteries for cars and trucks via a venture with A123 Systems Inc. and sodium-based batteries for use in large vehicles such as locomotives.
GE Energy Infrastructure is the company’s biggest industrial unit, accounting for $37 billion of the parent company’s $157 billion in revenue last year. GE is also the world’s largest maker of locomotives, jet engines, medical- imaging equipment and related information technology systems.
GE fell 7 cents to $16.55 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 9.4 percent this year.
--Editors: James Langford, Margot Slade
To contact the reporters on this story: Rachel Layne in Boston at email@example.com; Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org
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