22 November 2012, 10:26 BST
It certainly is in General Electric's interest for plug-in vehicles to gain a following in America; GE has invested heavily in supply charging stations for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. So it is no surprise that the electronics giant has placed an order for 2,000 of the new Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, making it the largest order of its kind so far.
You may remember that GE created a bit of a ruckus when it announced that they would be replacing their 25,000 vehicle fleet with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and pure electric vehicles. From a business point of view, the move makes sense; hybrid and electric vehicles have lower maintenance and fuel costs, saving thousands of dollars over the life of each vehicle...even taking into account the premium price.
While so far GE has mostly purchased Chevy Volt plug-in hybrids, the Ford C-Max Energi has apparently caught their eye in a big way. Perhaps it is the extra storage space, or long-range driving ability of the C-Max Energi that caused GE to take the plunge. But the more plug-in vehicles on the road, the better it is for GE and their Wattstation battery chargers.
This is a big win for Ford, though I wonder what is keeping other large companies from making similar moves. These fuel-efficient vehicles make a lot of sense if driving is your business, and while other companies have dipped their toes into hybrid and alt-fuel technology, few have made it a priority like GE. What gives?