NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Wednesday it invested over $24 million in an electric-car maker and its battery supplier as part of an effort to push the technology toward the mainstream.
GE invested $4 million in Think Global, a Norwegian electric-vehicle company that has created a five-seat crossover concept car. It has also invested more than $20 million into A123Systems, a Massachusetts-based lithium-ion battery maker.
GE said its goal is ''to make electric transportation practical and affordable.''
GE's Energy Financial Services division made the investments from its recently expanded seven-member venture capital group. That group has invested nearly $100 million in a dozen companies over the last 18 months.
GE's research includes a $5.6 million contract with the Energy Department to develop smaller, lower cost, better performing motors for hybrid electric vehicles. GE is also working on a $1.2 million project to develop advanced density capacitors and a $13 million project to build a prototype hybrid fuel-cell bus.