GE now has a collaboration with Ford Motor Co. to purchase 2,000 new Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids for its fleet. As part of the collaboration, Ford will work with GE on marketing GE’s alternative fuel infrastructure solutions to commercial customers and provide new alternative fuel vehicles for use at GE’s Vehicle Innovation Center. This will bring GE’s fleet up to 5,000 alternative fuel vehicles as part of the company’s goal of 25,000 of these vehicles. So far, GE employees have driven about 18 million miles in the company’s alternative fuel vehicles, saving about $2 million in gasoline costs and reducing CO2 emissions by about 12 million pounds.
GE and Ford will also work with researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology on data collection and analysis on GE’s fleet in order to add even greater efficiencies to electric driving and charging. As part of the study, GE employee driving and charging habits will be tracked, with the goal of improving all-electric driving and charging performance. Researchers will use Ford’s MyFord Mobile app – with real-time battery charge status and “value charging” that automatically recharges at lower cost, off-peak electricity rates. ““Through access to vehicle data, we can accelerate research and development of new technologies to further improve efficiency, driver satisfaction and environmental benefits,” says Professor Bert Bras of the Sustainable Design & Manufacturing laboratory at Georgia Tech.