GE Replaces Fleet Vehicles with Chevy Volts for Nearly All Employees

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GE Employees Get Chevy Volt Electric Cars, All-Gas Use OKed Sometimes
BY JOHN VOELCKER
Feb 16, 2012


2012 Chevrolet Volt Gas Station

Sixteen months ago, General Electric announced it would place the "largest order in history" for electric cars, to be used by its employees who are issued company cars.

Now, those cars are starting to arrive and be placed with employees.

And where changes are made, personnel policies are sure to follow.

A person inside GE recently forwarded a memo to us that covers some of the nuts and bolts of using the 2012 Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car. It's from the fleet operations manager for GE Healthcare.

Among the interesting points:

  • "All sedans ordered in 2012 will be the Chevrolet Volt"
  • Crossovers and minivans will be replaced by electric-vehicle sedans, i.e. the Volt
  • Field engineers (who presumably have to carry equipment and spare parts) are the exception to the Volt-only rule
  • Home assessments for installation of a 240-Volt Level 2 charging station will be provided to all Volt drivers
  • If it's not possible to install a Level 2 station, employees should use standard 110-Volt charging
  • If no electric power is available, driving the Volt using only its gasoline range extender is permitted
  • Employees should expense both public charging-station costs and the Volt-recharging portion of their monthly electric bills
  • If new GE drivers opt out of the fleet-vehicle program and choose to use a personal car, GE will not reimburse those expenses
  • Existing drivers will not be reimbursed for personal-vehicle use after January 1, 2013
But, more seriously, why is GE pushing the Volt so hard?

First, its fleet managers have likely calculated that over the multi-year lifetime of the Volt, the company will save money on operating costs.

Fleet managers are notoriously hard-nosed spreadsheet jockeys, and are willing to spend more upfront on a car (the 2012 Volt starts at $39,995 before the $7,500 Federal tax credit) if the running costs end up saving money over the total mileage it covers.

The cost of a mile driven on electricity is generally one-third to one-fifth that of a mile driven on gasoline (depending on gasoline and electricity prices and the gas mileage of the comparison vehicle).

So GE likely figures that paying recharging costs will end up saving it money on gasoline over several years.

Second, GE makes electric-car charging stations, and its WattStation ads have been heavily publicized.

For the company, championing electric cars is a good way for employees to get familiar with plug-in vehicles that need to be recharged. In Silicon Valley, they call that "eating your own dogfood."

The GE order could add many thousands of vehicles to Volt sales in 2012, and we suspect that most GE drivers will warm quickly to the smooth, quiet experience of electric propulsion.


GE WattStation Publicity Shot

One note of concern: The electric-car advocate who sent us the memo was deeply disturbed that all-gasoline running was allowed.

We're not quite so worried about that, since its ability to run on gasoline once the battery pack is depleted is the heart of the Volt's flexibility--no range anxiety.

Since most GE Healthcare employees will use their company cars on fairly predictable daily travels, many of them less than 40 miles, their Volts are likely to spend the vast majority of their miles running on battery power.

After all, Level 2 charging or not, everyone's got a 110-Volt socket somewhere.

For all we know, GE may have a deal with GM's Onstar to get access to the detailed usage data for its Volts--which would allow the company to learn exactly how its employees drive its Volts.

A year hence, we may see a GE press release touting all the gasoline it has displaced by running on grid power. We hope so, anyhow.

We've reproduced the entire text of the memo, addressed to GE Healthcare's "Americas Team," on the next page.

Americas Team,

GE is playing a leadership role in moving Electric Vehicles (EVs) from anticipation to action – and you are a part of this movement! Jeff Immelt announced a game changing global commitment to purchase 25,000 EVs as part of a plan to convert half of GE’s global vehicle fleet by 2015. This is the largest commitment ever to an EV fleet.
http://www.gereports.com/in-largest-single-commitment-ge-to-buy-25000-electric-vehicles/

GE’s commitment to EVs is part of our Ecomagination business strategy to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology through innovation and R&D investment. Further, it serves as an important market validation of new vehicle technologies and the associated charging infrastructure. EV’s are an important step toward energy independence and a way to reduce our dependence on oil. By deploying EVs into the GE fleet we can accelerate the market acceptance of EV’s, and gain insights into potential new business opportunities for charging infrastructure and smart grid technologies…while reducing emissions from our fleet.

General Electric GE WattStation charging
"Electric vehicle technology is real and ready for deployment and we are embracing the transformation with partners like GM and our fleet customers." "By electrifying our own fleet, we will accelerate the adoption curve, drive scale, and move electric vehicles from anticipation to action."

Jeff Immelt
GE Businesses across the USA have piloted and deployed over 300 EV’s in 2011.

GE is now moving this project forward from the pilot phase into full scale deployment. GE Healthcare is at the forefront of this effort, with about half of the entire GE fleet worldwide.

Please embrace the new vehicle technology, the Chairman’s initiative, and the positive environmental impact of EV’s.

2012 Chevrolet Volt
CHANGES for 2012 Fleet Program


All sedans ordered in 2012 for GEHC will be the Chevrolet Volt.
http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car/

All crossover and minivan vehicles will be migrated to an EV sedan when the current vehicle is up for replacement. The current EV sedan is the Chevrolet Volt. Field Engineers are an exception, and will be able to order larger vehicles based on job requirements. FE EV’s are expected in future years.

Drivers ordering Volts will be set up for a home site assessment/estimate for 240V electric charger installation. If a dedicated 110V home outlet is available, the vehicle can be charged on 110V until the installation of a 240V charger is completed. There may be instances where home 240V charger will not/cannot be installed, therefore charging on 110V home outlet, public charging stations or all gas use will be justified.

Monthly home electric reimbursement will be via T&L. Rates are determined using state DOE average KW rates and will be updated periodically.

Public charging expenses to be expensed via T&L using AMEX card.

To encourage EV deployment, if an employee is eligible for a fleet vehicle, a fleet vehicle will be made available. If a new driver opts out of the fleet program and elects to drive a personal vehicle, there will be no reimbursement. For current employees who qualify for a fleet vehicle, but have chosen to drive a personal vehicle, reimbursement by GEHC will stop as of 1/1/2013.

GEHC will no longer offer all-wheel drive vehicles beginning this order cycle.
http://www.greencarreports.com/news...volt-electric-cars-all-gas-use-oked-sometimes
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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Dec 9, 2004
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#2
Think of all the green-vehicle credits GE will be able to deduct from their tax bill in 2013.
 

Motor Head

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#3
Good. Anything that can hurt the oil cartels is always good in my book. Gas is going to hit $5.00 a gallon this summer and that means the working poor will be choosing between gasoline and quality food.
 

Josh_R

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Jan 29, 2005
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#4
Yay for government subsidies!

Congratulations Taxpayers, Chevy Volt is the Most Government-Supported Car at Up To $250k in Subsidies Per Vehicle Sold
Shikha Dalmia | December 21, 2011

If you’ve been revolted by the fact that every $40,000 electric Chevy Volt sold by Government Motors enjoys a $7,500 rebate at the expense of taxpayers, then better have some Dramamine before you read any further. James Hohman of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy has calculated that the total subsidies—direct and indirect, federal and state—poured into this white elephant could add up to $3 billion or $250,000 for every Volt sold to date. And this is not counting the 26 percent ownership that Uncle Sam still has in the company.

Explains the Michigan Capitol Confidential, a Mackinac publication:

The Volt subsidies flow through multiple companies involved in production. The analysis includes adding up the amount of government subsidies via tax credits and direct funding for not only General Motors, but other companies supplying parts for the vehicle. For example, the Department of Energy awarded a $105.9 million grant to the GM Brownstown plant that assembles the batteries. The company was also awarded approximately $106 million for its Hamtramck assembly plant in state credits to retain jobs. The company that supplies the Volt’s batteries, Compact Power, was awarded up to $100 million in refundable battery credits (combination tax breaks and cash subsidies). These are among many of the subsidies and tax credits for the vehicle.

It’s unlikely that all the companies involved in Volt production will ever receive all the $3 billion in incentives, Hohman said, because many of them are linked to meeting various employment and other milestones. But the analysis looks at the total value that has been offered to the Volt in different aspects of production – from the assembly line to the dealerships to the battery manufacturers. Some tax credits and subsidies are offered for periods up to 20 years, though most have a much shorter time frame.

GM has estimated they’ve sold 6,000 Volts so far. That would mean each of the 6,000 Volts sold would be subsidized between $50,000 and $250,000, depending on how many government subsidy milestones are realized.

If battery manufacturers awarded incentives to produce batteries the Volt may use are included in the analysis, the potential government subsidy per Volt increases to $256,824. For example, A123 Systems has received extensive state and federal support, and bid to be a supplier to the Volt, but the deal instead went to Compact Power. The $256,824 figure includes adding up the subsidies to both companies.

Of course, the subsidy per vehicle will decrease as more Volts are sold. But if you think that taxpayers will ever recover their full “investment," then I have some stock in the Trabant that I want to sell you.
http://reason.com/blog/2011/12/21/congratulations-taxpayers-chevy-volt-is
 

BIV

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#5
Electric cars are gay.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
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#7
If it's not burning dead dinosaurs it's not a car, it's a go cart.
 
May 24, 2004
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#8
This story could explode... not unlike the Chevy Volt, which can also randomly blow up or catch on fire.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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If it's not burning dead dinosaurs it's not a car, it's a go cart.
Where do you think electricity comes from? Magic?

I'm sure there's no shady illegal backroom deal here. Nope. I wonder if the dealers will at least drop the $7500 premium they added to the price of Volts when the government started handing out the $7500 subsidies?
 

CousinDave

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#10
Where do you think electricity comes from? Magic?

I'm sure there's no shady illegal backroom deal here. Nope. I wonder if the dealers will at least drop the $7500 premium they added to the price of Volts when the government started handing out the $7500 subsidies?

How many of the parts in the Volt are made by GE

and like Don said it still runs on electricity and unless that electricity is coming from nuclear, you're probably hurting the environment more than you're helping.


Buy a disel VW or Audi if you really think you need to tell yourself you're making a difference
 

Don the Radio Guy

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How many of the parts in the Volt are made by GE

and like Don said it still runs on electricity and unless that electricity is coming from nuclear, you're probably hurting the environment more than you're helping.


Buy a disel VW or Audi if you really think you need to tell yourself you're making a difference
The Volt isn't a bad car. But you can buy 2 Priuses or Civic hybrids for the price of 1 Volt. It's a scam on the American people and a payoff to the unions for supporting the regime.
 

VMS

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Apr 26, 2006
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The Volt isn't a bad car. But you can buy 2 Priuses or Civic hybrids for the price of 1 Volt. It's a scam on the American people and a payoff to the unions for supporting the regime.
Pretty much this.

A Volt is just a plug-in hybrid. There is (or shortly will be) a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius. Fuck, people have been hacking their Priuses (Prii?) for years into plug-in hybrids. It's been mostly (as I understand it) a regulatory and consumer resistance issue with PIHs.

And the plug-in Prius will still be about half the cost of a Volt.

A Volt is a massively over-priced machine. It just is. It's a combination of union costs, bad engineering, and a bloated corporate structure. GM should have been allowed to die, just so the deadwood at the top, middle, and bottom of that company could be cleared away and more efficient companies could have taken its place.
 

Hoffman

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The Volt isn't a bad car. But you can buy 2 Priuses or Civic hybrids for the price of 1 Volt. It's a scam on the American people and a payoff to the unions for supporting the regime.
Like Dave said; go with any of the turbo diesels the Euro's are shipping here. VW, Audi, Merc or BMW. MUCH better choices if your environmentally conscious or looking for good mileage.
 

lajikal

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Aug 6, 2009
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Pretty much this.

A Volt is just a plug-in hybrid. There is (or shortly will be) a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius. Fuck, people have been hacking their Priuses (Prii?) for years into plug-in hybrids. It's been mostly (as I understand it) a regulatory and consumer resistance issue with PIHs.

And the plug-in Prius will still be about half the cost of a Volt.

A Volt is a massively over-priced machine. It just is. It's a combination of union costs, bad engineering, and a bloated corporate structure. GM should have been allowed to die, just so the deadwood at the top, middle, and bottom of that company could be cleared away and more efficient companies could have taken its place.
But that would mean CHANGE. Cant have that.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#16
The Volt isn't a bad car. But you can buy 2 Priuses or Civic hybrids for the price of 1 Volt. It's a scam on the American people and a payoff to the unions for supporting the regime.

Chill out Susan, I was just being silly.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#17
I wonder who builds the dynamos inside the power plants that will generate the electricity to power these things.

Oh and a Volt is cheap next to a Tesla.
 

whiskeyguy

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Like Dave said; go with any of the turbo diesels the Euro's are shipping here. VW, Audi, Merc or BMW. MUCH better choices if your environmentally conscious or looking for good mileage.
The shitty thing about getting a diesel though is you have to pay that diesel tax... which needs to be reduced somehow for automobiles.
 

CousinDave

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#19
The shitty thing about getting a diesel though is you have to pay that diesel tax... which needs to be reduced somehow for automobiles.

na, you just put it in a separate tank and say its for your tractor
 

whiskeyguy

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na, you just put it in a separate tank and say its for your tractor
People around here do that a lot, but the CHP started catching on and know a could of guys who had the diesel in their trucks tested because they had a second, external fuel tank for heavy equipment behind their cabs.
 

Hoffman

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na, you just put it in a separate tank and say its for your tractor
If you drive a car you could probably get away with it. Truck, hell no. I had several contractors back when I was building houses get nailed by the cops for filling their trucks with red diesel.
 

CousinDave

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#22
If you drive a car you could probably get away with it. Truck, hell no. I had several contractors back when I was building houses get nailed by the cops for filling their trucks with red diesel.

oh I know it was a joke, that red stuff stays in your tank forever.

If you ever buy a used disel vehicle, have it tested first, because if the DOT gets you and there is any of that dye in there, you're getting fined big time.
 

Hoffman

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#23
oh I know it was a joke, that red stuff stays in your tank forever.

If you ever buy a used disel vehicle, have it tested first, because if the DOT gets you and there is any of that dye in there, you're getting fined big time.
I've heard stories of guys having their "tanks drained" although I've always taken it with a grain of salt. VHP takes that shit pretty seriously.