When General Electric unveiled its hip, Yves Behar-designed commercial WattStation charger back in July, we learned that producing a residential version was also part of the company's plans. Now that GE has taken the wraps off of the residential WattStation, we can see that it foregoes the commercial unit's frisbee-on-a-pole design in favor of a rather conventional-looking oval-shaped wall-mounted system.
The smart-grid-compatible residential WattStation is expected to retail for $1,000 to $1,500, but GE is banking on more than just a reasonable price to drive sales. GE's first home charger promises to be faster than the competition and the company boldly claims that the WattStation, "on average decreases electric vehicle charging time from 12-18 hours to as little as four to eight hours compared to standard charging "level 1", assuming a full-cycle charge for a 24 kWh battery." Unfortunately, GE provides no specs to validate its speed claim, but we think this just means that the home unit is Level II/240V-capable. The residential WattStation is slated for a global release in 2011. Hit the jump for more on GE's residential WattStation charger.
[Source: General Electric]
GE Introduces Residential Smart Grid-Compatible Electric Vehicle Charger
o GE's WattStation™ is an easy-to-use electric vehicle charger designed by renowned industrial designer Yves Behar
o Follows announcement of public charger in July
o Significantly decreases time required for full car charging
o Partnered with ServiceMagic for simple installation and financing programs
FAIRFIELD, Conn.--01 October 2010-- GE (NYSE: GE) today unveiled the residential GE WattStation, an easy-to-use electric vehicle (EV) charger. Following the announcement of the public charger in July, the residential GE WattStation is designed to help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles by significantly decreasing time needed for vehicle charging and, using smart grid technology, allowing utility companies to manage the impact of electric vehicles on the local and regional grids.
Michael Mahan, global product manager for GE WattStation, said, "The residential WattStation's easy functionality and design allows for uncomplicated integration of quick electric vehicle charging into your everyday activities."
GE has partnered with ServiceMagic, the nation's leading website connecting consumers with service professionals, to provide a network of certified electricians for reliable installation of the residential WattStation in the consumers' home. In addition GE Capital, working with ServiceMagic, will provide financing options, enabling consumers to pay for the charger and installation costs over time.
"GE Capital's flexible financing options, offered by ServiceMagic professionals, provides a simple process for consumers to pay for the WattStation and related electrical installation services. This is imperative to widespread electric vehicle adoption," said Bruce Christensen, general manager of Home Improvement, GE Capital - Sales Finance.
Combining functionality with consumer friendly form from renowned industrial designer Yves Behar, the GE WattStation on average decreases electric vehicle charging time from 12-18 hours to as little as four to eight hours compared to standard charging "level 1", assuming a full-cycle charge for a 24 kWh battery.
"The residential GE WattStation design is friendly and so simple to adopt that it will literally change one's life overnight: No more trips to the gas station, something that surely no one will miss," said Yves Behar, founder of fuseproject.
GE WattStation will be commercially available globally in 2011.
In addition to the GE WattStation, GE recently announced two new partnerships to advance electric vehicle adoption. In April 2010, Project Get Ready, a non-profit initiative led by Rocky Mountain Institute to help communities prepare for electric vehicles, named GE a technical advisor focusing on design and planning of the local and regional electric grids for electric vehicles.
In May 2010, GE Global Research and Nissan signed a separate three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore new technologies that are needed to build a reliable, dynamic smart-charging infrastructure.
About ServiceMagic®, Inc
Since 1999, ServiceMagic has matched millions of consumers with service professionals resulting in billions of dollars in various home improvement projects for bathroom remodeling, locksmiths, handymen, and many more. Each of ServiceMagic's professionals is screened through a rigorous screening process, including criminal background checks, and state-level licensing. Headquartered in Golden, Colorado, ServiceMagic was recently named Colorado Technology Company of the Year and draws nearly four million unique visitors to its website each month. ServiceMagic is an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI).
About GE's ecomagination
GE is driving a global energy transformation with a focus on innovation and R&D investment to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology. Since its inception in 2005, more than 90 ecomagination-approved products have been brought to market with revenues reaching $18 billion in 2009. With $5 billion invested in R&D its first five years, GE committed to doubling its ecomagination investment and collaborate with partners to accelerate a new era of energy innovation. The company will invest $10 billion in R&D over five years and double operational energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. As part of the initiative, GE launched "GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid", a $200 million financial commitment challenging innovators to join in building the next-generation power grid. For more information, visit the ecomagination website at http://www.ecomagination.com
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world's toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions, and television programming, 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.