• Jul 18th 2011 at 4:59PM
  • 14
Announced today at the Plug-In 2011 Conference, GE Energy Industrial Solutions and home improvement giant Lowe's will team up to offer consumers the wall-mounted, residential-use General Electric WattStation plug-in vehicle charger.

Starting in August, Lowe's will stock the GE WattStation at five stores in California. Come September, the WattStation's availability will increase to 60 stores and it will be available to purchase nationwide on Lowes.com.

Paul Foody, product general manager of GE Energy Industrial Solutions, says the deal with Lowe's means that, for the first time ever, "customers can purchase the GE WattStation from a retailer, marking a milestone for GE as we help accelerate the mass adoption of electric vehicles."

Recently, Lowe's installed a commercial-duty GE DuraStation (pdf) at its headquarters in Mooresville, NC and will soon invest in an undisclosed amount of GE WattStations to be installed at select stores for public use.

[Source: General Electric]
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GE Energy Partners with Lowe's to Provide Electric Vehicle Chargers for Home and Commercial Use

GE and Lowe's partner to provide consumers with easy access to GE's electric vehicle charger, the GE WattStation* Wall Mount

RALEIGH, NC-- GE Energy Industrial Solutions and Lowe's announce today at the Plug-In 2011 Conference and Exposition they will partner to offer consumers the fast-charging, easy-to-use, energy-efficient GE WattStation Wall Mount Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station.

"The innovative GE WattStation offers Lowe's customers one of the electric-vehicle industry's first rapid-charging solutions for use in homes and commercial businesses," said Tom Dillon, Lowe's merchandising vice president. "Durable, easy-to-use and sleek, this product will help transform the future of personal transportation, making an electric vehicle easily adaptable for everyday use."

Lowe's will introduce the GE WattStation at five stores in California in August then increase availability to 60 total stores in September. The GE WattStation will also be available to consumers nationwide on Lowes.com in September.

"The GE WattStation is fast and easy to use, and now it's easy to buy for owners of EVs in America," said Paul Foody, product general manager, GE Energy Industrial Solutions. "This is the first time customers can purchase the GE WattStation from a retailer, marking a milestone for GE as we help accelerate the mass adoption of EVs."

Lowe's installed a GE DuraStation* EV Charging Station for use at its headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., and will also install commercial GE WattStations at select stores for public use. The GE WattStation is manufactured at a GE facility in Mebane, N.C.

The GE WattStation, a Level 2 charger, fully charges an electric car in just four to eight hours compared with standard overnight charging that can take as much as 12 to 14 hours. The wall-mount unit can be installed in an EV user's garage or outdoors, operates on a 208-240VAC circuit and is designed to work within the EV ecosystem. The sleek, robust design of the GE WattStation is NEMA 3R rated to resist rain, sleet and even ice.

The compact wall-mounted GE WattStation measures 24 inches tall, 16 inches wide and 6 inches deep. It can be installed in new or existing construction, and can either be hardwired for more permanent installations or plugged into a NEMA 6-50 receptacle for simple removal.

GE offers a portfolio of product solutions – including GE WattStation, circuit-protection equipment and transformers – that touch every part of the electric-vehicle infrastructure development. This portfolio enables GE to lead wide-scale electric-vehicle adoption and generate growth for its businesses. Innovation is a tradition at GE. For more than 100 years GE has built and serviced infrastructure to optimize energy generation and use. The development of this next-generation technology with GE reliability was a natural progression.

For more information, visit www.geelectrical.com/ev.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world's toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.

GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy www.ge.com/energy-GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas-work together with more than 90,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.

About Lowe's

With fiscal-year 2010 sales of $48.8 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 company that serves approximately 15 million customers a week at more than 1,750 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is great, it will help drive down the price of chargers. Something tells me that the price difference between one of these and a charger offered at a dealership may be like the price difference between getting the nav option for $1,500 or going and buying one at the store for $100.
        • 4 Years Ago
        GE has already announced the Residential WattStation's price will be $1,000-$1,500.
          • 4 Years Ago
          I wonder if we'll be able to use those Lowe's special financing deals (e.g. 12 months no interest on purchases $299 and up) for something like this. That would definitely help with stretching out the cost of it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The pricing of EVSEs is becoming quite interesting; there is a quality L2 station available from Clipper Creek for about $998; a modified Nissan brick, portable L2 station from evseupgrade.com for $789, and an L2 upgrade of the Nissan Brick for about $300 from the same site. Also, there are those, who may start offering a complete DIY kit. The prices are beginning to drop as people start thinking about plug-in cars. Note on the placement of charging points: Install level 2 stations where people go and spend a couple of hours, i.e., restaurants, malls, parking lots, etc. They charge slowly and are of little value otherwise. Place the Level 3 stations along freeways,expressway, etc., where people are short on time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Ladson, See my response below to amtoro about the differences between smart and dumb EVSE--not all have the same features. As for the modified EVSE from various websites, I think that people should be very careful about using products without safety certification such as that provided by UL. Do you think that your insurance will cover you if you use one of these EVSE units that have no certification and your house burns down? Do you think that your dealer will honor the warranty if your modified EVSE damages the vehicle? The cost of these cheap EVSE units may not be completely reflected in the upfront pricing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Ladson, See my response to amtoro below for discussion of smart and dumb EVSE--not all have the same features. As for the modified EVSE from various websites, I would be very careful using something that hasn't undergone UL certification--if you use one of these chargers and you start a fire in your house, is it likely that your insurance will cover you for a product with no safety testing? And what if you damage your EV--will the dealer still honor the warranty? People should be very cautious in making a decision to cut corners to get a cheaper EVSE, as the cost may not be completely reflected in the upfront price.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Per National Electrical Code section 625, you still need an electrical contractor to set up the premises for EVSE. Leviton gets around that by selling a "pre-wire kit" that requires the electrician, then selling the Evr-Green charging station separately. GE is also saying can be "plugged into a NEMA 6-50 receptacle for simple removal"
        • 4 Years Ago
        You are correct, however, the Code indicates that the EVSE must be installed in its own independent circuit, it does not say anything about what plug to use, or if hardwiring is required; if your EVSE comes with a plug for which you have a receptacle, and the circuit is not shared with anything else and has the proper current rating, you are good to go.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Personally, I think the prices for some of these EVSE are unreasonably high; it is not new technology, it is just a power cable with a circuit board and a chip that tells the car how much current can be drawn from the plug, that is it... They are advertised as Chargers or Charging Stations because it sound more essential and complicated. I would compare with selling a computer AC cable for $50 calling it "desktop computer electric delivery system" instead of "power cord" and selling it for $10. I will have my L1 EVSE modified from evseupgrade when the LEAF arrives, a 240V-16A unit that I can carry with me and use everywhere, including camp sites. I can tell my neighbors that I have a fill-up station "in the trunk" :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        @amtoro, I think you are missing the distinction between "smart" EVSE and "dumb" EVSE. You are right that "dumb" EVSE is not very complicated, but "smart" EVSE has capabilities like energy metering and touchscreens (in ECOtality's Blink case), as well as communications for data transfer that will only become more important with smart grid, home-area networks (HANs), and eventually V2G applications. It all depends on whether you are satisfied with an EVSE that has no features except a button to start the charging and an EVSE that can help you take advantage of time-of-use pricing, reduce demand charges, prevent transformer overload, provide you with charging data, etc. It will be interesting to see the sales of the two types.
          • 4 Years Ago
          I agree with you, but for those of us who have a smart meter at home and will program the car from the dash or from Carwings to start charging at the ultra-low rate time, the "dumb" EVSE does just fine. I just wish they would sell them for a decent price, but even the AV is priced at $995; the smarter ones like Coulomb's, are in the north of $2000
      John R
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sure ABG means to say, "charging station", right? The charger is inside the car, remember ;-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      If Leviton's charger gets into Home Depot stores, and maybe another brand for mail-order on Amazon, then they'll be some real competition and prices could drop.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Since when is the 90s Jeep Cherokee and EV?
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