nissan leaf at SAE World Congress 2012

Nissan and GE shared a booth at the SAE World Congress in Detroit recently to emphasize the way the two companies want to connects your car and various appliances to the emerging smart grid.

The common piece of equipment is the new WattStation, which is an electric vehicle charging station that – along with the companion piece of software called WattStation Connect – gives plug-in vehicle drivers "the ability to manage and set customer pricing for EV charging, provide access control at their facilities, generate valuable reports and engage with customers in new ways." Some of those new ways include powering your home from your electric car, keeping track of electricity usage and having the charging stations (when used publicly) talk to navigation software to broadcast availability. Rental company Hertz was also involved in the development of the WattStation Connect software. You can see a video of the WattStation at the Congress down below.

Nissan was also proudly displaying a placard about the expansion of the CHAdeMO fast-charging protocol. It said that when the CHAdeMO association was established in March, 2010, there were just six CHAdeMO DC quick charger manufacturers, all of them Japanese, and only 192 chargers were installed globally. Two years later, at the end of March 2012, there are 33 manufacturers and 1,071 DC quick chargers installed around the world. Those are good numbers for the charging protocol, but a challenger is coming in the form of a new, eight-automaker-approved alternative fast-charging standard being unveiled at EVS26 this week. How these two options will battle it out in the coming years will be most interesting to watch.





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GE Energy Launches the Fully Networked WattStation™ and WattStation Connect Software, a Complete Electric Vehicle Charging Platform

Innovative Electric Vehicle Solution from GE Combines Connectivity, Convenience, Safety and Reliability in an Integrated Charging System
GE Energy's Industrial Solutions Business Works with Hertz® to Provide EV Users with a Secure and Easy-to-Use System
WattStation Charging Station Features Stylish Modern Design and Intelligent Retractable Cord

SAE 2012 World Congress

DETROIT -- April 24, 2012

GE Energy's (NYSE: GE) Industrial Solutions business unveiled its new ecomagination™-approved WattStation™ and WattStation™ Connect today at the SAE 2012 World Congress in Detroit, Mich. A complete, user-friendly electric vehicle (EV) charging station and software platform, the solution allows WattStation owners to manage charging stations remotely, giving them the ability to manage and set customer pricing for EV charging, provide access control at their facilities, generate valuable reports and engage with customers in new ways. Now available, GE's sleek, stylish and modern designed WattStation pedestal EV charger is easy to use, customizable and features a retractable cord.

GE Energy is at work connecting people and ideas to create advanced technologies like the WattStation and WattStation Connect. EV users can now gather information and process payments in an easy-to-use, customizable, reliable and secure system.

The WattStation Connect full-service software platform helps meet a wide variety of EV needs, whether it is a retailer looking to attract new customers, a commercial property manager in need of information on electricity usage or a fleet owner in search of better cost-allocation data. WattStation Connect provides owners a user-friendly method to manage, monitor and maintain their EV charging ecosystem network.

"We worked closely with Hertz in the development of the WattStation Connect software because Hertz is at the forefront of electric vehicle deployment," said Michael Mahan, product general manager, EV infrastructure for GE Energy's Industrial Solutions business. "Their global EV solutions in the U.S., Europe and China require the advanced, networked stations that we offer."

Industrial Solutions is forming data acquisition agreements with key navigation companies to share information on the installations and availability of WattStations throughout the U.S. and Canada. This enables EV drivers to view and locate GE's WattStations, obtain directions to the EV charging stations, access pricing details and determine whether a unit is available for charging. In addition to global positioningsystems (GPS), the GE WattStation Connect data will be available through the Internet, mobile app/device and future in-vehicle (built-in navigation) systems.

GE Energy's Industrial Solutions business is working with a well-known online payment company to enable drivers to safely and conveniently pay for charging fees through the WattStation Connect mobile app. The app will be available for download in the coming weeks. EV drivers can use the mobile app to scan the quick response (QR) barcode on the WattStation charger. The QR code will identify the station and the pricing structure for that individual charger.

GE Energy's WattStation and WattStation Connect are designed to work within the EV ecosystem, smart electronic commerce and monitoring systems, making it energy efficient and providing customers with a no-hassle experience. The award-winning WattStation^1 can be installed into any commercial, public or retail location. EV users will be able to use this product at retail outlets, hotels, office buildings, institutions such as hospitals, public and private parking decks and street parking. Here are some of the benefits:
  • Combining functionality with a modern design by renowned industrial designer Yves Behar, the GE WattStation pedestal uses smart grid technology and enables utility companies to manage the impact of electric vehicles on the local and regional power grids. Its sleek interface with LED indicator lights helps to identify when it's available for use, charging an EV or if a fault has occurred.
  • The WattStation's intelligent self-cleaning cord management system allows for use in a multitude of environments without compromising the life of the product. 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.
  • The upgradeable WattStation is designed to grow with its users' needs. Its modular design simplifies in-field upgrades and ensures that EV charging facilities can expand without the need for costly replacement equipment.
  • Three modes of communication (cellular 3G, Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections) provide WattStation owners with flexibility for communicating back to the WattStation Connect network. The WattStation Connect software offers the flexibility of different packages (fleet, corporate and commercial) and customizable payment options.
  • GE's WattStation Connect mobile app enables EV owners to locate stations, see station availability, pay for charging their vehicle and check the status of the charge while their vehicle is charging. The mobile app will be available at the Apple iTunes Store® and Android™ Market. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology provides secure access to the charging station.
  • Through the GE EV Certified Installer program, users can tap into GE's network of service providers for the assistance they need to make their EV charging projects a reality.
  • Placing safety first, with ground fault protection and NEMA 3R indoor/outdoor rating, GE's WattStation meets all UL and fire safety standards.

"GE has a full range of electrical distribution products required to support EV deployment and to move power from the grid to the road, helping our customers operate in a smarter, more networked world," added Mahan. "Our EV charging solutions offer a variety of options that make sense for you and your community. Whether you need durability, modern style, freestanding units, software-enabled or simple charging functionality, GE has designed leading technology for the delivery, management, conversion and optimization of electrical power and can connect you to the most effective, convenient solution for you."

To earn ecomagination approval, a product is evaluated for its ability to significantly and measurably improve the customer's environmental and operating performance. Green Order, a consulting firm, helps verify the rigorous, multi-tiered qualification process to ensure accuracy and thorough documentation of technological performance.

For more information on GE Energy's EV solutions, please visit its website, check it out on Facebook or follow on Twitter @GEindustrial.

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