Best Buy Adds Onstar, Electric-Car Chargers; Are Cars Next?


Mitsubishi - Best Buy

Mitsubishi - Best Buy

If you haven't been keeping an eye on Best Buy, you may have been stunned by their recent announcements at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

First, on January 6, Best Buy announced that it will offer General Motors' OnStar system (conveniently packaged within a rear-view mirror) through its stores and website. GM also showed a prototype of an upcoming OnStar system using the Verizon 4G network, which Best Buy may eventually support, as it currently provides in-store set-up services for Verizon cellphones.

2012 Ford Focus Electric launch, New York City, January 2011 - Eric Kuehn

2012 Ford Focus Electric launch, New York City, January 2011 - Eric Kuehn

Then, the next day, Best Buy announces that it will offer Ford’s electric car charging unit through its stores and website, with consultation and installation provided by their Geek Squad service arm.

Best Buy has always made innovative and strategic moves – most notably acquiring the Geek Squad computer services company and placing its service centers within every Best Buy store. A few Geek Squad technicians even drive prototype Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric minicars on their calls, similar to the car that will be launched as the 2012 Mitsubishi 'i'.

Mitsubishi MiEV - Best Buy Geek Squad

Mitsubishi MiEV - Best Buy Geek Squad

Back in 2008, through its Best Buy Venture Capital arm, the company participated in the first $10 million round of funding for Brammo, maker of highway-capable electric motorcycles. In 2009, it began selling Brammo's motorcycles in select Best Buy stores in California.

Today, Best Buy offers an entire electric vehicles section on its webpage. Products include electric bikes, scooters, and motorcycles.  It may be only a matter of time before an electric car company seeking a distribution channel within the US finds its home at Best Buy.

 
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