Electric Car Charger as Art: Yves Behar Designed GE WattStation

While you may not be able to tell an electric car charger from a parking meter at this point, GE is aiming to change that with their sleek, Yves Behar designed WattStation electric car charger that they unveiled in San Francisco. With its futuristic, multi-colored design, the WattStation takes only 4-8 hours to charge a 24 kWh battery, rather than the 12-18 hours it had previously taken. With an at-home version released in late 2010 and commercially available in the first quarter of 2011, GE is hoping that the ease and speed of its electric car charger will help increase adoption of plug in electric vehicles.

One of the main advantages of the WattStation design is the fact that it uses Smart Grid Technology (which GE has invested heavily in) to help local utility companies manage the energy resources needed to keep up with the electricity demands of the new charging units. Coupled with their support of the non-profit organization Project Get Ready (which helps design smart grids for local communities) and a partnership with Nissan to help develop electric car technology and smart-charging infrastructure, GE has been a large proponent and facilitator of the burgeoning electric vehicle revolution.

The WattStation was conceived of by renowned designer and Fuseproject founder Yves Behar to have a more organic, natural aesthetic and to look less like a fuel pump than previous electric car chargers.