General Electric Gets Greener
General Electric (NYSE:GE) recently announced it will purchase 2,000 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles from Ford (NYSE:F). The collaboration will pool resources for collecting and analyzing fuel-efficiency data aimed at reducing fuel costs, and jointly market the companies’ alternative energy initiatives.
The purchase brings GE’s alternative energy fleet to over 5,000 vehicles, about 20 percent of its target. Not just interested in saving on its fuel costs, the company has been developing alternate-energy infrastructure such as the WattStation and CNG in a Box. GE’s WattStation is a rapid changing station for electric vehicles, such as the C-MAX Energi. The CNG in a Box system is a rapid fueling system for natural gas vehicles that GE developed with Peake Fuel Solutions, an affiliate of Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK).
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GE and Peake Fuel Solutions have already announced that they will deploy 250 CNG fueling systems across the United States. While GE is betting on a shift toward alternative energy in transportation, the company isn’t putting all its eggs in one basket. Electric vehicle sales to date have been modest, representing only 3.3 percent of the market in the first ten months of 2012. Adoption is increasing, with the 2012 share a full percentage point above the 2011 share, but the growth rate is expected to remain low…