The most effective way of getting regular consumers to warm to electric vehicles, hybrids and other alternative fuel vehicles is to get them behind the wheel.

The same applies to business customers, who may be in a position to buy a fleet of green vehicles to replacing ageing current fleets. That's why GE has opened an electric and plug-in test center in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

The Vehicle Innovation Center will become a meeting place for business fleet buyers, industry groups and researchers, who can then test-drive hybrids and plug-in vehicles.

Better still, those interested will be able to compare a mixture of vehicles and alternative fuels in one place, allowing them to make the most relevant decision for their fleets. Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, Coda Sedans and several other electric, hybrid, natural gas and hydrogen vehicles can be pitched head-to-head in a test track environment.

The idea is sure to catch on in other regions, and we can't help feeling that the idea has potential for car-buying consumers wishing to get a better idea of what's on the market too.

If you could test the market's electric and alternative-fuel offerings in one place, would you prefer that as a buyer? Let us know in the comment section below.


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