GE Capital Fleet Services opened its new Vehicle Innovation Center (watch video above), a new facility designed to provide businesses, industry groups and researchers with the opportunity to test-drive and learn about alternative-fuel vehicles and related technologies.
“At GE, we are at work, providing solutions to the world’s toughest challenges,” said Clarence Nunn, president and CEO of GE Capital Fleet Services. “Through our Vehicle Innovation Center, we are committed to sharing alternative fuel vehicle technologies and solutions with our customers and helping them put more of these vehicles on the road.”
The new center is located at GE Capital Fleet Services’ headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn., and features a private, half-mile driving course and a vehicle center that showcases alternative-fuel vehicles from 20 automakers. Vehicle types include electric, natural gas, propane, hydrogen and others, GE stated. The company broke ground on the center in September 2011.
“We believe that businesses, through their company fleets, can lead the way in putting drivers across the country and around the world into cleaner, more productive vehicles,” said Deb Frodl, chief strategy officer for GE Capital Fleet Services and global alternative fuel leader for GE. “The best way to accelerate adoption of alternative fuel cars and trucks is to experience them. Once they get behind the wheel, they can see that these vehicles are real and ready for action.”
The center itself provides 6,000 sq. ft. of classroom and showroom space. At the center, visitors have access to products and solutions from GE’s ecomagination portfolio, which includes smart grid solutions, EV charging stations, GE’s “Compressed Natural Gas in a Box” technology, mobile applications that detail fuel savings, among other technologies.
The center is designed to support GE’s "ecomagination" business strategy, which is dedicated to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology though innovation, and research and development investment. GE Capital Fleet Services stated it will run the center as a collaborative effort with other GE businesses and GE energy and transportation experts from around the world.