Ford this month confirmed that it will deliver 2,000 C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids to GE’s corporate fleet. According to BusinessGreen, this may be a “major boost to the emerging market for low emission vehicles.”
Workers at a Ford assembly plant in Michigan commented on the company’s Facebook page, welcoming the order.
One employee, who said he worked at the Michigan plant, said: “Now I know why so many c- max’s have been coming down the line this is good :)” [sic]. Another commented that he had been “building [the cars] like crazy.”
This purchase may help to promote GE’s car chargers and natural gas refueling stations. Ford said the vehicles would reduce drivers’ fuel expenses by up to $7,000 over a 5 year period.
GE has a goal to replace half of its 25,000 vehicle fleet with alternatively fueled vehicles as time passes. It says that it reduced its gasoline expenses by $2 million, and reduced its CO2 emissions by 12 million pounds so far by introducing alternatively fueled vehicles into its fleet.
GE will start taking C-Max deliveries this month. These plug-in hybrids are to provide employees with the ability to drive 21 miles on the battery alone, then the petrol engine switches on to back them up, offering 100 mpg fuel efficiency.
Also, GE and Ford also said they would work with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to study GE employee driving and charging habits, with the goal of improving all-electric driving and charging performance.
The deployment of electric cars and plug-in hybrids is very beneficial to their industries not just because it makes the manufacturers money, but it is important to the future of the industry because it is a test of the vehicles, which demonstrates how well the vehicles suit drivers, and it teaches them how they can improve the vehicles for the future.