It stands to reason that range anxiety would lessen – at least a little – among current and prospective owners of electric vehicles (EV) if charging stations were ubiquitous as gas stations are today. Since they are not, there is value in the ability to locate charging stations and reserve time on them via smartphone.
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. The software platform serves not only vehicle owners but also entrepreneurs who see the benefit of installing and operating charging stations, including retailers, commercial property managers, and business managers who want to provide an additional benefit for their employees. Fleet managers are also prospects.
Industrial Solutions says charging station owners can set pricing, provide access control, and generate reports, all remotely. It’s working with an online payment company to enable drivers to pay for charging through a WattStation Connect mobile app. The WattStation pedestal uses smart grid technology to help utility companies manage the impact of electric vehicles on power grids.
EV charging still takes quite a bit of time versus pumping gas, but that investment could be mitigated if charging stations were available at restaurants, shopping malls, office parks, other places of employment, or any other appropriate place where people spend time.
Where besides home would you most like to see a charging station and how much difference would it make, if any, in your decision to purchase an EV?
Your answer might interest another exhibitor at the SAE World Congress, Ecotality, which manages the EV Project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and partner organizations. The Project collects and analyzes data on EV use – 24 million miles worth so far, which equates to nearly one million gallons of gas not consumed and some 8,700 metric tons of CO2 not emitted.
The goal of The EV Project is to apply the lessons learned from deployment of the first few thousand EVs and the current charging infrastructure to streamline deployment of the next EV generation. Are you ready to buy, or, as was said of color televisions decades ago, waiting for them to be perfected?