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GE's global EV drive begins in Australia

Date
04 July 2011
GE's global EV drive begins in Australia

MELBOURNE: GE has said it will buy at least 1000 electric cars in Australia as part of its plans to purchase 25,000 EVs globally by 2015, which will accelerate the Clean Revolution in the EV sector.

GE’s announcement was made during the unveiling of the Renault Fluence Z.E., at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show, Melbourne.

The Renault Fluence Z.E. is the first electric vehicle (EV) that comes stocked with a switchable battery, which means that drivers can exchange depleted batteries with fully charged ones at Better Place’s switch stations, as part of a new partnership between GE, Better Place Australia and Renault.

Justin Hocevar, Managing Director, Renault Australia, said at the show: ‘We are excited to be partnering with GE and Renault, two companies who are leading the world in their commitment to zero emissions driving. Together, Better Place, GE and Renault will make electric vehicles a driving force in this country.’

At the event, Ben Waters, Director of Ecomagination GE Australia and New Zealand, says that GE are a ‘strong supporter’ of EVs, and after their huge and pioneering announcement said: ‘We look forward to being an early adopter of electric vehicles in this country.’

GE’s aim of buying 1000 EVs in Australia is the first action of their plan announced in November, 2010 to buy 25,000 EVs by 2015, which is the largest ever single electric vehicle commitment.

Evan Thornley, CEO, Better Place, says: ‘Today’s statement from GE and the unveiling of the Fluence Z.E. are the culmination of a range of announcements over the past few weeks that clearly show that the transition to mass-market electric cars is beginning in Australia.’

Robin Haycock, Head of Transport, The Climate Group, says: ‘GE’s commitment will drive the large-scale up-take of EVs in Australia, as well as accelerate the country’s technological innovation, competition and economy. I love the work that these guys are doing. It is one of the first business consortiums to realize that putting a compelling package together for the consumer is the way to get sales of EVs and the market to take off. We have worked with GE on our EV20 US initiatives and I hope more will come from this relationship, as they are pioneers in the EV sector.’

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