General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt said on Oct. 30 the company plans to order "tens of thousands" of electric vehicles in about a week which he described as the largest EV order in history. The initiative calls for about half of GE's 45,000-person sales force to drive electric vehicles. Immelt didn't reveal which automakers would be involved.
JD Power and Associates isn't convinced that sales of battery electric vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles, or hybrid electric vehicles will reach the high levels others have been proclaiming - only 7.3% of global new car sales in 2020. The real trend is yet to be seen as most of these new product launches are yet to happen. However, selling green machines may not be as big and bountiful as some would like it to be, and certain buyer categories will reign in importance. Early adopters and those with environmental concerns will be buying cars, and fleets will probably be a bigger segment than might have been expected. If GE is going to invest that much into EVs to drive sales reps, that says a lot. A sales force will have range anxiety since long car trips are normal for them. So if a company like GE is already committing to such a mass early adoption, you can expect to see other fleet buyers go that route.