Electric vehicle drivers will soon be seeing a new design of public charging station. GE Energy’s Industrial Solutions business unveiled yesterday its new ecomagination-approved WattStation and WattStation Connect at the SAE 2012 World Congress in Detroit.
GE’s Industrial Solutions is forming data acquisition agreements with key navigation companies to share information on the installations and availability of WattStations throughout the U.S. and Canada. This will enable EV drivers to view and locate GE’s WattStations, obtain directions to the EV charging stations, access pricing details and determine whether a unit is available for charging. In addition to global positioning systems (GPS), the GE WattStation Connect data will be available through the Internet, mobile app/device and future in-vehicle (built-in navigation) systems.
GE Energy’s Industrial Solutions business is working with a well-known online payment company to enable drivers to safely and conveniently pay for charging fees through the WattStation Connect mobile app. The app will be available for download in the coming weeks. EV drivers can use the mobile app to scan the quick response (QR) barcode on the WattStation charger. The QR code will identify the station and the pricing structure for that individual charger.
GE Energy’s WattStation and WattStation Connect are designed to work within the EV ecosystem, smart electronic commerce and monitoring systems, making it energy efficient and providing customers with a no-hassle experience. The award-winning WattStation1 can be installed into any commercial, public or retail location. EV users will be able to use this product at retail outlets, hotels, office buildings, institutions such as hospitals, public and private parking decks and street parking.
GE’s WattStation Connect mobile app will enable EV owners to locate stations, see station availability, pay for charging their vehicle and check the status of the charge while their vehicle is charging.
Michael Mahan, product general manager, EV infrastructure for GE Energy’s Industrial Solutions business, said “we worked closely with Hertz in the development of the WattStation Connect software because Hertz is at the forefront of electric vehicle deployment.” This leads us to believe the first places where these stations will be seen is at or close to Hertz daily rental locations.