Curbside electric car chargers coming in 2011

If you're going to be driving an electric car, there'd better be plenty of charging stations available along the way. That's why our parent company GE (technically our parent's parent) hired designer Yves Behar to create WattStation, a powerful charger that'll be able to top off your batteries in four to eight hours.

Today's average chargers take between 12 and 18 hours to fully charge a car. For quick charging, a lot more power is necessary, and the WattStation provides this. It looks like a useful improvement, at least until you consider the "electric highway" in Washington state, whose 400-volt chargers are said to charge a car to 80% in 30 minutes. But for workplace charging, this WattStation might be more cost-effective.

This attractive appliance is due on the streets in 2011. In the meantime Behar is designing other models for homes and garages. Its display on top shows color-coded icons that you can see while driving by. At a glance, you can determine if the charger's available, out of service, or in use. Take a look at the video below and see how beautiful these objects are, perhaps on their way to becoming iconic.

Now if they could just make it so the WattStation could charge a car's batteries in the time it takes to fill up a tank with gas, this could make driving an electric car a painless way to get from here to there.

Via Fast Company

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