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GE buys 2,000 Ford plug-in hybrids to study as part of fleet

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In this July 24, 2011 photo, the Ford logo is displayed at an auto dealership in Springfield, Ill. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Seth Perlman

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DEARBORN, Mich. - GE is buying 2,000 plug-in hybrid cars from Ford for its corporate fleet.

Ford and GE announced the purchase of the C-Max Energi hybrid Tuesday.

GE has set a goal of converting half its fleet to alternative energy vehicles. With the Ford purchase, GE now has 5,000 alternative-fuel vehicles, or about 10 per cent of its fleet.

Ford will promote GE's electric vehicle charging stations as part of the agreement.

The two companies also plan to work with researchers from Georgia Tech to study employees' driving and charging habits. The results of those studies will be shared with other companies that want to add electric cars to their fleets.

The C-Max Energi went on sale this month. It can go around 20 miles (32 kilometres) in all-electric mode before a gas engine kicks in.

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