GE unveils residential high-speed car charger

GE WattStation will enable electric-car owners to recharge their vehicles at home more quickly and use the smart-grid technology managed by utility companies.

General Electric
GE unveils a home version of its WattStation electric-car charger.
GE unveils a home version of its WattStation electric-car charger. General Electric

GE is launching a new residential electric-car charger that promises to be faster and more user-friendly than traditional charging stations.

The new GE WattStation unveiled today is a residential version of the public charger announced in July. The home WattStation will lower the time it takes to charge from 12 to 18 hours for a standard charger to as few as 4 to 8 hours, assuming a full-cycle charge for a 24 kWh battery.

Created by industrial designer Yves Behar, the residential WattStation joins its public counterpart with controls that should be easy to use, according to the company.

"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," Behar said in a statement.

The WattStation will also tap into the smart-grid technology managed by utility companies, allowing them to manage the overall impact of electric cars on their local and regional power grids.

To roll out the WattStation, GE is teaming up with ServiceMagic, a Web site that connects consumers with contractors. ServiceMagic will provide the names of certified electricians who can install the charger at a consumer's home. Through its GE Capital financing arm, GE will also offer consumers a way to pay for the WattStation over time.

The WattStation will be available to consumers around the world sometime next year. The residential version is expected to cost between $1,000 and $1,500 per unit, according to GE.

Updated at 11:15 a.m. PDT with pricing information.

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