The first-of-its-kind center reinforces GE's commitment to the deployment of more efficient vehicles in its fleet and in customer fleets. Showcasing the latest in a growing array of alternative fuel vehicles in electric, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, and other formats, the center gives GE's commercial customers the opportunity to learn about and test drive numerous alternative fuel cars and trucks in a single location with assistance from GE's fleet, transportation, energy, and advanced technology experts.
"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."
Located on the campus of GE's fleet management business headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn., the center features a private half-mile driving course and a vehicle center that includes alternative fuel vehicles from 20 automotive manufacturers. With 6,000 square feet of classrooms and showrooms, the center also allows visitors access to a variety of products and solutions from GE's ecomagination portfolio, including solutions for the smart grid, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in a Box, fuel savings mobile applications, and other advanced energy and infrastructure technologies.
"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 supports GE's broader 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.
"The city of Eden Prairie is delighted and proud to be the home of GE's Vehicle Innovation Center, " said Nancy Tyra-Lukens, mayor of Eden Prairie. "This is truly a world-class facility, and we are pleased to have GE working on the future of sustainable transportation right here in our own community."