WattStation will charge electric cars using smart grid tech

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Charging an electric car

Charging times for electric cars have been a sticking point - but WattStation hopes to change that. Image from Flickr.

Worldwide maker of consumer electronics General Electric has announced a new electric car charging station called WattStation. The charger reportedly reduces the amount of time it takes to charge a 24 kWh battery by two thirds. The WattStation is going to be available both commercially and for home use.

Technology behind the WattStation

The WattStation is going to be a charging unit that uses smart-grid technology. Smart grid tech uses a two-way digital control that delivers extra energy to areas with very high demand. Combined with superconductive transmission lines, the smartgrid tech can pull the extra energy required to charge batteries quickly.

Will the WattStation really work?

General Electric reports that a properly installed WattStation will charge an electric car battery in four to eight hours. Usual charging times, depending on the electric car, are between twelve and eighteen hours. While some car battery makers are working on reducing that charging time, most still take at least twelve hours.

Challenges of electric car batteries

The biggest challenge with most electric cars is simple – getting enough power to run the vehicle takes a while. No matter what chemical composition of the battery, it can only charge so quickly. Electric transmission systems and lines can only deliver so much power at once. However, WattStation claims to have fixed this issue.

Will WattStation encourage car buyers?

Electric cars have been a frustrating problem for most car makers. While there appears to be great support for electric cars in the market, they still remain a niche product. Long charging times and questionable battery technology make it much more attractive to stay with gas-powered cars for most buyers. GE hopes that, combined with new cars and better battery technology, the WattStation will encourage buyers to make the leap to electric.

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