General Electric Unveils WattStation Charger, Announces New Smart Grid Investment

· · 11 years ago

General Electric today unveiled its first entry into the electric vehicle charging market, a Level II unit called the WattStation. The charger is designed for both home and public use, and comes equipped with smart grid ready WiFi capability.

But what really makes the WattStation stand out are its looks. Simple contours and variety of color combinations could prove very attractive to municipalities and businesses looking to create an aesthetically-pleasing charging infrastructure. GE contracted renowned industrial designer Yves Behar for the project.

At the same event, General Electric CEO Jeffery Immelt announced the creation of a $200 million "smart grid" venture capital fund. Immelt said that GE is in a unique position to create and deploy smart grid and charging infrastructure because of its size and reach. "We can get things going with massive distribution," said Immelt. "We have 50.000 sales people and 50,000 engineers."

GE owns a 10 percent stake in lithium ion battery developer, A123 Systems, but has otherwise been somewhat quiet on the electric vehicle front. Perhaps these latest developments signify an interest on the part of the corporate behemoth in putting a few more of those 50,000 engineers and $111 billion in cash assets to work in the developing EV market?

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