General Electric was formed by the 1892 merger of Edison General Electric of Schenectady, N.Y., and Thomson-Houston Electric Company of Lynn, Mass. At the time, the company was intent on introducing new and exciting electrified appliances to consumers. GE has never left the energy sector, but now the company has entire divisions devoted to power generation, technology infrastructure, media, financial services, and healthcare. Of course, GE has never gotten far away from it’s first love, doing cool stuff with electricity.
The American multinational corporation is showing off its newest electrified, fully networked, ready-for-the-future gizmo, the networked WattStation and WattStation Connect Software, which the company is calling a complete, user-friendly electric vehicle charging platform. While the WattStation has been around for a couple of years, what is new is the charger’s fully networked platform will will give owners a user-friendly method to manage, monitor and maintain their EV charging network, GE says.
Stylistically, the new GE charger is a few steps up from the pump up at the local Gas N’ Guzzle. Designed by Yves Behar, the sleek and silvery charging station has a self-cleaning cord and features an interface with LED indicator lights that identify when it’s available for use, charging an EV or if a fault has occurred.
The WattStation can be installed into any commercial, public or retail location and allows owners to manage charging stations remotely, giving them the ability to manage and set customer pricing for EV charging, provide access control at their facilities, generate usage and cost reports and engage with customers. In addition, the WattStation pedestal uses smart grid technology and enables utility companies to manage the impact of electric vehicles on the local and regional power grids.
GE has also designed a customer app to accompany the station. The 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. The mobile app will be available at the Apple iTunes Store and Android Market. Radio Frequency Identification technology will provide secure access to the charging station.