GE WattStation – Click above for high-res image gallery
Stare with intent at the picture above. In fact, just give the image a click and glance over the high-res gallery. Notice that welcome screen on GE's Wattstation charger? It's hard to miss. Isn't it? Well, what if companies spent some dough to replace the word "Hello" with an ad for some shiny kicks, or an iPod or, for that matter, anything else. Could electric vehicle chargers become yet another mode for advertisements? Do we even have to ask? With advertisements virtually everywhere, we'd bet that those annoying ads will pop up on electric vehicle chargers across the globe in no time. So, should we cry out in despair?
Well, yes, and no. For starters, dealing with those annoying ads will bother many of us, but there's a potential for something good to emerge, too. Jonathan Read, chief executive officer of ECOtality, suggests that retailers could install chargers in parking lots and use the screens to display flashy ads or even to offer electronic coupons. Revenue generated from these ads could be shared by store owners and charging station producers and this all could evolve into a lucrative business model that drives businesses to purchase chargers. Of course, it could also turn the simple process of charging an electric vehicle into a multi-step nightmare of wading through ad upon ad before the juice will even begin to flow.