GE Energy launches WattStation™ networked EV charging platform
At the SAE World Congress, GE Energy Industrial Solutions introduced WattStation™, an electric vehicle (EV) charging station, and WattStation Connect, a software platform to support it.
WattStation Connect provides charging station owners a user-friendly method to manage, monitor and maintain their EV charging ecosystem network. Stations can be managed remotely, with owners able to set pricing, provide access control, generate reports, and engage with customers in new ways. The solution targets retailers looking to attract new customers, commercial property managers, and fleet owners, among others.
GE Energy is forming data acquisition agreements with key navigation companies to share information on the availability of WattStations throughout North America, so EV drivers will be able to locate and obtain directions to WattStations, access pricing details, and determine if a unit is available for charging. WattStation Connect data will also be available through the Internet, mobile app and devices, and future in-vehicle (built-in navigation) systems.
Michael Mahan, product general manager, EV infrastructure, for GE Energy’s Industrial Solutions business said the firm worked closely with Hertz in the development of the WattStation Connect software. GE Energy is also working with an online payment company to enable drivers to pay for charging through the WattStation Connect mobile app, which should be available for download within a few weeks. The app will scan the quick response (QR) barcode on the WattStation charger and the QR code will identify the station and the pricing structure for that individual charger.
The WattStation pedestal uses smart grid technology and enables utility companies to manage the impact of electric vehicles on local and regional power grids. Chargers can communicate via cellular 3G, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet connections.
The WattStation’s self-cleaning cord management system allows for use in a multitude of environments without compromising the life of the product, according to the company. The cord is self-contained within the charger to keep the cord organized and out of the way when the charger is not in use. The cord only retracts when the charger is disconnected from a vehicle, preventing damage when the charger is in use.
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