Renowned industrial designer Yves Behar helped GE’s new electric vehicle charger, WattStation, turn heads when the curtain rose on the beauty he designed in July. Now the smart-grid compatible charger has a home-use cousin that was unveiled today. Also designed by Behar, the founder of fuseproject, the smaller residential version also significantly decreases the time required for full car charging. Behar, who explains the thinking behind the new version in the video below, says: “The residential GE WattStation design is friendly and so simple to adopt that it will literally change one’s life overnight: No more trips to the gas station, something that surely no one will miss.”
GE WattStation on average decreases electric vehicle charging time from 12-18 hours to as little as four to eight hours compared to standard charging “level 1”, assuming a full-cycle charge for a 24 kWh battery. It will be commercially available globally in 2011. Importantly, smart grid connectivity will allow the charger to interact with utility electric vehicle demand response systems, which will allow the utilities to manage the impact of EVs on the local and regional grid.
|Making it easy: The price is still being finalized, but the team expects the residential version to cost between $1,000-1,500 per unit. As part of the announcement, GE has partnered with ServiceMagic, which is the nation’s leading website connecting consumers with service professionals, for simple installation and financing programs. In addition GE Capital, working with ServiceMagic, will provide financing options, enabling consumers to pay for the charger and installation costs over time – which helps overcome a major hurdle when it comes to widespread adoption of EV technologies.|
In a recent Deloitte study, the top three considerations when purchasing an EV are vehicle price, reliability and cost to charge – which can vary based on the electrical grid infrastructure. Currently a full charge for a 24 kWh battery will cost approximately $3.50 – $4.00, based on average electricity rates, which is still much cheaper than the option of a gasoline powered car. Rates at public charging stations will vary according to what operators may choose to charge. And smart grid time-of-use pricing programs will allow customers to charge their vehicle at an even more efficient rate.
Learn more in these GE Reports stories:
* “GE & Better Place to partner on EV infrastructure”
* “Unveiled: $200M challenge, EV charger, smart monitor”
* “GE teams with Nissan on electric car smart charging”
* “New York powers up with new GE battery plant”
* Read more smart grid stories on GE Reports
* “In 1900 Electric Vehicles Reigned and Edison Charged Them!”
* “Edison speaks! Cracking the pallophotophone code“