General Electric, that is. I just got an email from CalCars (they've been sending out a bunch of them here lately) with some fascinating news. Andy Grove, formerly CEO of Intel, is suggesting that GE should get into the electric car business. I had never thought of that, but you know. . . He makes a highly compelling case. "A successful disrupter of the huge and complex energy industry has to be big, patient, and daring. I think G.E. has these qualities. Carmaker incumbents like General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, as well as energy providers like Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and BP, seem reluctant to adapt to the needs of our economy, the environment, and our national security. It’s hard to think of a better fit than G.E. G.E. Energy, which reported a profit of $3 billion on revenue of $18.8 billion in 2006, would likely benefit from a shift toward electric-powered transportation. It could tackle both an electric car and the construction of the infrastructure that electric vehicles would require. The use of electricity in transportation would allow us to exploit not only oil but also wind, hydro, nuclear, and photovoltaic energy, as well as coal and gas. This is a monumental change, and it is the only way our country can shed its dependence on foreign sources of energy. I have no idea how much G.E. should spend on such an effort or how soon the behemoth could expect it to be profitable. But I do know that the needed funds are a match for G.E.’s vast balance sheet. Tesla Motors, a Silicon Valley startup, says it spent less than $105 million to develop its line of superfast electric vehicles. It's exciting that Tesla’s Roadster accelerates faster than most Porsches, but does the tiny carmaker have the resources to take on Detroit and the oil companies? G.E. does. Plus, the company’s name already reflects such a move." He also makes a very cogent point that GE is so big, there's no practical way for them to grow their business -- other than muscling into somebody else's turf, like that of the car makers and oil industry.