Saddled with the high upfront costs currently attached to the early electric production cars, the new driving lifestyle will drastically affect the refueling environment for consumers. Whether a full EV (electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid model, charging of a vehicle’s battery pack will see private parking lots or garage become an active hub for the operations of electric cars. For the most part cancelling-out the trip to the gas station, electrified vehicles would ideally be completely ready for a complete zero emissions run over a reasonable, unobtrusive course of time. Owners of electric vehicles will quickly become acquainted that not all charging operations are equal.
Similar to gasoline highway fuel economy estimates that automakers publish to sell their vehicles most effectively, charging times for electric cars varies depending on certain factors. For example with the Nissan Leaf fastest battery charge time is recorded at 7 hours. However, if the Leaf is charged to using a standard 110-volt household outlet, the electric car would take a very long 21 hours. In order to achieve faster charging times, electric car owners will need to opt for a home charging unit. One of several leading units coming to market is from GE (General Electric) and will now have the additional advantage of being sold through major on-line website Amazon.com.
Priced at $1,099.00 with free basic shipping through Amazon, the GE Wattstation is a modern looking wall-mounted charging device. The Design of the GE Wattstation is meant to provide a simple interface for users to understand and operate. By simply inserting the cord into an electric vehicle’s power inlet, charging through the GE Wattstation is indicated by a green charging icon on the terminal. The Wattstation is universal for any current electrified vehicle including full electrics vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Spark EV to plug-in hybrids such as the Chevy Volt or an upcoming Toyota Prius model. When the GE Wattstation is not in use, the power cord can be wrapped around the device just as easily as a garden hose. With a shut-off button on the unit, zero power consumption is achieved when the GE Wattstation is not in use.
Suitable for installation inside a garage or even outside, the GE Wattstation comes with a step-to-step DVD detailing the proper method for mounting the unit. The charging unit is configured to be easily integrated with existing properties. Even outside the house, the sturdy design of the GE Wattstation wall charger withstands harsh weather and is secured against theft.
Expanded distribution of the at-home Wattstation unit is part of GE’s comprehensive power supply hardware needs intended to brand themselves as a potential household name as well as a commercial application for EV charging. Besides being sold through Amazon, the distribution of the GE Wattstation will also involve electric car company CODA Automotive. Through an agreement entered last month, CODA Automotive endorses the GE Wattstation as original equipment. Now across the United States and Canada, 46 published public locations have industrialized GE DuraStation charging units capable of replenishing electric vehicle batteries. GE has also entered a deal in September to buy Chevrolet Volts for use at their Shanghai headquarters cross promoting the technology in China. With electric cars finally earning a chance to shine in the 21st century, the construction of the infrastructure on personal, commercial and public property will need to grow at a pace faster than the EV lifestyle itself. The business opportunity presented to rapid electric charging solutions has not been lost on companies like GE.
As the first crop of mass-produced electric cars open to nationwide marketing, the GE Wattstation will have immediate industry competition. When announcing the Focus Electric vehicle, Ford Motor Company entered a collaboration with electrical hardware producer Leviton to create their own charging unit. The Ford branded 240-volt vehicle unit will be sold for $1,499 with the cooperation of Best Buy and their Geek Squad group. Consumers can expect to see a fast-growing competition from charging unit providers GE, Leviton, and other companies as they seek industry leadership no matter what EV prevails.
Information source: Ford Motor Company, GE
Photo source: GE