GE buys 25,000 electric cars to kick-start market

Image caption,
GE will first buy Chevrolet Volts, then cars from other manufacturers when they become available

General Electric has said it will make a record order of electric cars, to try to kick-start the market.

It hopes that its purchase of 25,000 electric vehicles will drive the development of a network of charging stations, and other related products, which it produces.

Its first order is for 12,000 Chevrolet Volts, which will start to roll off GM's production lines this month.

GE will use them as company cars and lease them to corporate customers.

It intends to buy the 25,000 cars by 2015. It will use some of them in its own fleet.

The rest will go into its Capital Fleet Services business, which leases cars to corporate customers.

GM said it wanted to "lead wide-scale electric adoption and generate growth for its businesses".

GE's Jeff Immelt said he hope the purchase would "move electric vehicles from anticipation to action".

It predicts that the nascent electric vehicle market could be worth $500m (£310m; 366m euros) in revenue to GM over the next three years.

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