It shouldn't be surprising that a company with the word electric in its name would want to plug into the growth of EVs. Even so, when General Electric announced in 2010 that it would buy 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015, the sheer size of the bulk buy made headlines, for the size of the commitment and because half that number would be from General Motors, including the Chevrolet Volt. Since then, GE has purchased thousands of the new Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid.

Now, apparently, GE's fleet managers want a wider range of options, especially for their trucks. So, GE is taking a slight detour, and adding in some fuel-efficient compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles into its purchases for its own corporate fleet and the vehicles it leases to others, according to Bloomberg News. GE owns 30,000 vehicles for its own employees, and leases 1.4 million to other businesses through its GE Capital Fleet Services arm.

Even though EV, PHEV and hybrids are a small percentage of the total GE fleet, the decision to add more CNG vehicles is partly a financial one. Simply, electrics and hybrids carry a premium over gas and CNG. The GE decision could be good news to Honda. The Honda Civic CNG won the prestigious Green Car of the Year award at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. It also costs more than $10,000 less than the Volt.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      HCMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      CNG would make sense for trucks as reported, but I doubt the Honda Civic CNG will be at the top of their list as a Volt would be a much better compact car as it actually has a trunk and can drive much further than a Civic CNG for their fleets.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HCMan
        The Honda Civic Hybrid is: - Cheaper - Has longer range. - Has better city and highway MPG. Only a FOOL would buy a CNG.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      I could be wrong about my perception. I've been into EVs for a while, i guess i just remember the days when we thought they were gonna save the planet is all :P
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its an EV with range extending motor... so I agree, its not just a hybrid. So f-ing what if the motor drives the wheels under certain specific conditions. But its just semantics either way. BTW, I thought this horse died a long time ago...
      kEiThZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      Companies need to realize that there won't be a one-size fits all solution for transportation going forward. Not unless they are willing to pay. So cars go electric. Trucks go CNG.
      usbseawolf2000
      • 2 Years Ago
      The horse was wrongly beaten so it is now the time to set the record straight. EREV is NOT a type of EV with a range extender. It will be a sub-category of PHEV (Plugin hybrid). So, it is a type of plugin hybrid (often use battery and rarely use gas engine).
      mikeybyte1
      • 2 Years Ago
      CNG for trucks makes sense. There are very few hybrid/EV truck options out there.
      noevfud
      • 2 Years Ago
      What EV are they considering, the Volt is a Hybrid. Stop calling hybrids EVs,
        usbseawolf2000
        • 2 Years Ago
        @noevfud
        Spec, you made it sound like hybrid is a bad thing. LOL. There are many different type of hybrids and Volt is one of them. Volt is heavily biased toward electric but still a hybrid -- as long as it has a gas tank, gas engine and tailpipe.
          usbseawolf2000
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          Of course not. One has a plug and the other doesn't. Both PiP and Volt are plugin hybrids. So are Ford's Energi models. Neither are electric cars.
          usbseawolf2000
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          @Marco Polo - SAE J1715 standard defines them and they are the official definition. Once the update become final, EREV will be a type of PHEV, not a type of EV.
          usbseawolf2000
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          PHEV is a hybrid with a plug. A hybrid is a vehicle with two fuel sources (not what drives the wheels). Plugin battery increases the weight, robs interior room (or even a seat), add cost, lowers gas MPG, etc. Those are the trade-offs (needs to be balanced out) to gain efficiency in electric miles. Electricity is not zero emission. Producing electric fuel is as efficient as a hybrid gas engine, so it is best to wisely use the electricity. It makes sense for short trips where gas engine cannot get to optimal operating temp. Blowing away electricity at 100 mph is not a good idea because 10 hours charge would be gone in 15 mins.
          usbseawolf2000
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          Just correcting semantics. Yes, there are many types of plugin hybrids. They all plugin and pump gas. EVs only plugin. They are vehicles with a plug. Plugin hybrids are hybrids with a plug. EREV operates like a hybrid if you don't plug it in. Perhaps with lower gas MPG in the case of Volt.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          But a PHEV is more than a hybrid. That is why you pay more for it. The cars are very different and calling a Volt or a PiP just "a hybrid" inaccurate and very misleading because it misses a major difference.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          @ usbseawolf2000 What's with all the puritan attitude to the language ? There's 'moral' code on descriptions. The term EREV is perfectly legitimate to describe and more importantly, define the vehicle difference in technology. No ruling body of stern grammarians exists, to reprimand inaccuracy. The only motive someone could have for describing the Volt/Ampera as a hybrid, rather than EREV, is for the sole purpose of maliciously misrepresenting the vehicles function.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          "PHEV is a hybrid with a plug." That is true for the wimpy PiP you love so much. But the Volt can go 80mph on battery alone. So it is not just "a hybrid with a plug". The differences matter. Volt owners can accelerate and drive fast without gasoline.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          It is not a bad thing. But the Volt is not the same as the Prius just as the Plug-In Prius is not the same as the regular Prius!
        usbseawolf2000
        • 2 Years Ago
        @noevfud
        +1. The upcoming SAE J1715 will officially make EREV as a sub-category of PHEV (Plugin Hybrid).
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @noevfud
        The Volt is not merely a 'Hybrid'. Stop calling the Volt a Hybrid.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think that the best is to have 2 tanks, one for nat gas and one for gasoline as the ice can cope with both of them so you don't have troubles finding fuels and you can find better price for nat gas but if you don't find then you can put gasoline instead.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Have ABG readers lost 30 IQ Points? The Honda Civic Hybrid gets 44 mpg. The CNG get's 32 mpg, is Slower, has only a 200 mile range, and is more expensive.
        chechnya
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Your info seems to be off. The CNG gets 28 city, 39 highway.(Honda website). Miles per tank is also 225-250(wikipedia). According to The Truth About Cars, the 0-60 for the CNG is 10.2 and 10.9 for the Hybrid. I'm not saying either one is better than the other, but please get your information right before commenting.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @chechnya
          Yes Ford! Gosh....
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      I just paid 2.50/gal here in Utah for gas, and natural gas is cheap and abundant too. No wonder EV enthusiasm has been dampered. The big companies were too late to react. They released EVs after gas prices went down, over promised, under delivered, and wondered why they didn't take. Oh well, it won't be the revolution it was promised to be, but at least you can finally buy an EV from a big company with a good warranty.
        MK2
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I disagree that enthusiasm has dampened, this article cites that GE is looking into CNG mostly for trucks, which is a market with very few EV's at this point.
        noevfud
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        $2.50. What dream world do you live in .Gas in CA is more than a $1 a gallon higher and my guess is it wil be almost $5 this summer.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          My dream world: Salt Lake City, Utah.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          I hear that gas is $3.50 in NC. But what do I know, I drive a Volt.
          MK2
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          It's about $2.85 in Colorado today.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          Gas is cheap here because we produce and refine a lot of it. You can even stop at a tesoro station right off the I-15 that gets it's fuel from an underground pipeline to the refinery about 2 blocks behind it, lol.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        EV's get 90-108 mpge. The Honda Civic Hybrid gets 44 mpg. The CNG get's 32 mpg, is Slower, has only a 200 mile range, and is more expensive. What are you smoking?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        2wheel My enthusiasm was dampened by the Focus Electric. I don't mind the car as much as many do, but Ford was on such a roll. Since this one was the second major electric, I think all of us were hoping for some sort of leap from the Leaf. Mileage, price, both. In the end, it was a bit more expensive and went a bit further. Then each car after it basically had the same range, roughly the same price (a couple extra miles this way or that, a couple extra thousand this way or that). Where was the improvement? With the lease prices on the Volt, plus the competitive price of the Prius C, we found two cars that seemed to have a good formula, with the rest of the electrics, beyond the leaf, being compliance cars (yes, I know the C is not electric). If the range hits 175 miles and the price is something at least mathematically competitive, then I will perk up again. Right now, since I live in a sprawl area, and my job involves driving, and I have a boat to tow (no truck options yet), all of these cars are fun to read about, but nothing remotely on the horizon - beyond the Volt and Prius C.
      hodad66
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fleets with CNG make sense but the typical driver has no consistent access..... at least here in Florida.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Meh. Getting some CNG TRUCKs makes sense. But light-duty cars are better served by electricity which can be made from natural gas, wind, solar, nukes, coal, etc. A problem with CNG is that it lacks an infrastructure. And the home fill station doesn't make sense when you add up the installation cost and the cost of continued maintenance. (such pumps need to be rebuilt regularly)
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