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Nissan, GE Team Up on Battery Cars

by on Oct.03, 2011

GE thinks it can help charge up demand for Nissan Leaf and other electric vehicles.

General Electric wants a piece of the electric vehicle action and is teaming up with Nissan to figure out how it can help expedite the adoption of electric vehicles.

Signing a new partnership with the Japanese maker, GE officials say they aren’t interested in putting their badge on a battery car but see other huge opportunities.  With corporate ventures in fields as far flung as battery manufacturing, electric motors and even green energy generation, the conglomerate’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt has suggested in recent months GE could wind up making substantial profits if the electric vehicle industry takes off.

Get Behind the Wheel!

“We want to get into this space in a big way,” said Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Director, GE Global Research, during a joint news conference with Nissan held at the automaker’s suburban Detroit engineering center. “As the U.S. and world move toward electric vehicles, the automotive sector is forming new industry connections that extend well beyond the traditional OEM space.”

There are any number of new players entering the battery car market, including start-ups like Tesla, Fisker and Bright Automotive.  “We don’t want to build cars,” cautioned Little. However, GE can help Nissan make EVs easier to use and more consumer friendly, he said.