Two TreeHugger regulars, designer Yves Behar of Fuseproject and GE Ecoimagination, collaborate to make electric vehicle charging stations sexy. The Wattstation is "smart grid ready" and has "level 2 capabilities for faster charging times." Autoblog Green explains that Level 2 means a 240 volt power supply.
Like all of Behar's work, it is lovely to look at.
The GE Ecoimagination press release says:
The modular design by renowned industrial designer Yves Behar makes each station future proof, allowing customers to easily upgrade as more communication options become available. This allows customers to stay current with the latest technology in a rapidly changing space, while providing the ability for commercial property owners to qualify for LEED points.
GE's WattStation™ is an easy-to-use electric vehicle (EV) charger designed to help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) by significantly decreasing time needed for vehicle charging. Its smart grid-enabled technology could also help utility companies manage the impact of EVs on the local and regional grids. On average the WattStation™ decreases EV charging time from 12-18 hours to as little as 4-8 hours compared to standard charging, assuming a 24 kWh battery and a full-cycle charge.
There are problems to be resolved. Most cities are getting rid of parking meters and other systems with a fixed length of parking space. Putting these in conventional streets would reduce the number of parking spaces available.
There are also problems of street clutter, but all the newspaper boxes are disappearing so perhaps there is a tradeoff here.
But it's great that they are starting with a talented designer and thinking about these issues; it is a design problem as well as an engineering problem. More at GE and Fuseproject.
More Fuseproject in TreeHugger:
Yves Behar's Fuseproject Creates Crystal Chandeliers With Just One Crystal
NYC Bike Helmet By Yves Behar is Latest Fashion Accessory
Yves Behar on Integrative Sustainable Design at Opportunity Green (Video)
Mission One by Mission Motors: The World's Fastest Production Electric Motorcycle
Super Designer Yves Behar