Outside of being one of the world’s great giant conglomerates, General Electric is committed to finding smart energy solutions for the world’s growing demands and more stringent emissions laws. It’s a company that prides itself on doing things efficiently. So when the company decides to purchase 2,000 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids, you know it’s going to make a splash.
General Electric wants to have an all-green fleet of vehicles in the coming years. So far, it has purchased Chevrolet Volts and other hybrids, and the 2013 C-Max Energi will bring its plug-in fleet up to 5,000 cars total. Besides providing associates with transportation, General Electric hopes to use the plug-in vehicles to research how they will affect strain on the U.S.’s electric grid in hopes of refining how energy is used. They’ll also be looking at ways to add to the more than 10,000 public charging stations in the U.S. to improve upon them. Both Ford and General Electric will be seeking help from Georgia Tech to see how to better use Ford’s MyFord Mobile smartphone app to get cars to charge at off-peak times in addition to figuring out better means of dispensing alternative fuels such as electricity and compressed natural gas that may not be as widespread yet.
“Through access to vehicle data, we can accelerate research and development of new technologies to further improve efficiency, driver satisfaction and environmental benefits,” says Georgia Tech’s Professor Bert Bras of the university’s Sustainable Design and Manufacturing lab.
With 195 horsepower of motivation, a 108-mpg equivalent fuel economy in the city, and an average of 43 mpg in mixed driving overall when used as a hybrid, and loads of room, we were impressed by the Ford C-Max Energi when we recently had a chance to drive it. And with wider adoption from the likes of one of the world’s largest electric and research companies, we imagine it will only get better through the upcoming years as Ford, General Electric, and Georgia Tech work together to make the car and its technologies even more seamless.