Good news for General Motors: the 2011 Chevy Volt is effectively sold out. General Electric is planning to purchase 25,000 electric cars, including 12,000 Chevy Volts, as it converts half its fleet to electrics by 2015.
Chevy Volt: who revived the electric car?
The Volt goes on sale in December at more than 600 dealerships across the U.S., while GM is producing just 10,000 cars next year. So if only 4,000 of those cars go to GE initially, that leaves an average of 10 cars per dealership for the general public. One dealership has reported getting only two cars: one for demonstration and one to sell, which it already has. If this is representative of Volt dealers nationwide, then essentially the 2011 Volt could be sold out.
After the 2011 rollout of the Volt, GE will get approximately 2,000 to 3,000 Volts annually. Where will GE go for the remainder of its electric cars? Both the Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi i-Miev are likely contenders.
Buying into electric cars makes perfect business sense for GE: it stands to gain from developing much of the charging station infrastructure envisioned by some as the necessary enabler for electric car adoption in this country, where longer average daily driving distances and commutes will require more juice.
GM has committed to installing over 5,000 charging stations, working with local utility companies, in its home state of Michigan. By buying up electric cars, is GE calling GM's bluff? GM had claimed not so long ago, despite a throng of public and celebrity support, that no one wanted electric cars.
How many people considering a Chevy will want an electric car? How many people considering an electric car will spend $40,000 on a Chevy? Maybe if GE's moves stimulate sufficient demand, GM won't be able to pull the plug this time.
Â©2010 Jim Hathaway for Gather.com