While GE usually saves its green dollars for renewable energy like solar and wind, the company said this morning that it’s making two investments in the electric vehicle space. The first is Norwegian electric vehicle maker Think Global, in which GE says it has invested $4 million. The second is an additional investment in electric vehicle battery maker A123Systems, one that brings its total stake in the company to $20 million and makes GE A123Systems’ largest investor.
GE’s news came out of the International Motor Show in Geneva, where Think also showed off a new 5-seater model called the TH!NK Ox. Think is using A123System’s lithium-ion batteries for its cars and its TH!NK City will be ready for sale later this year.
While GE doesn’t often invest in electric vehicles, it isn’t new to the field. The company has been working on a $5.6 million contract with the DOE to develop low-cost hybrid drivetrain motors, is spending $1.2 million to develop capacitors, and started work on a $13 million joint initiative with A123Systems to develop a zero-emissions hybrid fuel cell bus back in 2006.
A123Systems, which is also backed by Sequoia, is planning on doing an IPO as early as this year, and is one of the few venture-backed cleantech startups that is heading towards an exit. Which, of course, is good news for both GE and the future of electric vehicles.
Photo hat tip to Autoblog Green.