GE Capital Fleet Services (Eden Prairie, Minn., U.S.A.) broke ground last week on a customer experience and learning center that will showcase GE’s portfolio of electric vehicle services and help GE commercial customers evaluate EVs and other alternative fuel vehicles for their fleets.
According to GE, the center is being built on its campus in Eden Prairie, Minn., and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012. GE is building the facility so its customers can experience electric cars and trucks from a variety of manufacturers and analyze vehicle performance, driver experiences, service requirements and operational efficiencies, says the company. The center will also eventually feature alternative fuel vehicles powered by other energy sources.
GE’s center will be composed of four major components:
- An education center featuring classrooms for presentations, training, and discovery workshops as well as interactive displays;
- A solar carport and charging center that can charge up to 11 vehicles simultaneously;
- An experience center and showroom for customers evaluate vehicles in a variety of configurations;
- A private half-mile driving course for customers to experience a variety of cars and trucks in different driving conditions.
“Electric vehicles have the potential to solve some of the world’s toughest transportation challenges,” said Deb Frodl, chief strategy officer for GE Capital Fleet Services and global EV leader for GE.
The center will display many of GE’s EV deployment services, from fleet management services, vehicle telematics tools and WattStation chargers to energy and infrastructure products that power the smart grid and serve local utilities, says the company.
The center is part of GE’s ecomagination business strategy to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology though innovation and R&D investment. GE Capital Fleet Services will run the center in collaboration with other GE businesses and GE energy and transportation experts around the world, according to the company