/>
X
Business

GE's foray into electric vehicle infrastructure

General Electric's big "digital energy" push (smart grid to the rest of us) -- and its decision to look to entrepreneurs to crowdsource new clean-tech inventions -- must have some of the upstart players in the electric vehicle infrastructure game shaking in their shoes.The GE WattStation is pretty darn pretty for an electric vehicle charger, which sleek lines that creator Yves Behar describes as very relatable.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

General Electric's big "digital energy" push (smart grid to the rest of us) -- and its decision to look to entrepreneurs to crowdsource new clean-tech inventions -- must have some of the upstart players in the electric vehicle infrastructure game shaking in their shoes.

The GE WattStation is pretty darn pretty for an electric vehicle charger, which sleek lines that creator Yves Behar describes as very relatable. The LED around the top will be green when the station is carrying a full charge, while the source itself is tilted for better viewing and can be slightly heated so that ice doesn't accumulate in winter climates. The station can deliver a full charge in 4 to 8 hours, versus the 12 to 18 that some other designs require.

Even though GE is, essentially a fast follower in this game, its big strategic weapon in electric is its leasing and corporate relationships. During the company's big launch event in San Francisco, Immelt pointed to his company's financing arm and its massive footprint in fleet management capabilities as one way to get the WattStations in front of the public. Eventually, a city government might install them just like they would install parking meters. Incidentally, Behar says the WattStation can accommodate other applications that might be relevant, potentially replacing parking meters or communicating with your GPS to let you know that a spot is available.

Editorial standards