Fleet managers rated rising, volatile fuel prices as their top concern for 2011, over driver safety and cost savings, according to a survey conducted by General Electric Capital Fleet Services during the 2011 NAFA Institute and Expo. The survey shows that 28% of the 105 corporate fleet managers they questioned will introduce electric vehicles into their fleets within a year, possibly as one solution to the spike in gas prices.
Fleet vehicle heavy hitters like Ryder, UPS, FedEx (and even the USPS!) already boast EVs in their fleets. Back in November, General Electric Co. (GE) pledged to purchase 25,000 electric vehicles for its own fleet and for global fleet customers by 2015- almost have of which will be purchased from General Motors Co. The first model will be the Chevrolet Volt- which has been earning rave reviews from owners.
While 25,000 vehicles may be a drop in the bucket, Deb Frodl, Chief Strategy Officer for GE Capital Fleet Services, claims that GE might be in a “strong position” to promote EV adoption and growth, presumably by example. GE owns one of the largest fleets, operates a global fleet management business, and offers a multitude of EV-related products that may contribute to the development of an EV infrastructure. There are also now more plug-in and electric vehicle options for fleet managers to choose from than just five years ago, giving the market more choice in which direction they choose to go.