Product designer Yves Behar talks about the design aesthetic behind a new vehicle charging station he created for General Electric. Behar explains how users will interact with the device and connect to the smart grid to power their vehicles in the future. GE expects to make the new device available globally in 2011.
The WattStation: GE's new vehicle charging device
Posting in Design
Product designer Yves Behar talks about the design aesthetic behind a new vehicle charging station he created for General Electric. Behar explains ho...
Jul 13, 2010
I applaud the fact that there are people in the world who try to create alternate means of more efficient technologies to clean our planet. There is a risk in this, because business people will create technologies that are not efficient. We tend to create without thinking ahead about the negative consequences as a result of our creation. These Wattstations have to be maintained, plugged to get electricity from somewhere, to be disposed of when they no longer work. Electric cars are running on cells that will have to be thrown away at a certain point. I know that "illegal" dumping will happen along the way, whether it is by the manufacturers or by the people. Sorry to have such a low faith in humanity.
Sooo much prettier than a parking meter, too! But just as tall and in your way and landscape intrusive. I would love to see how long those cords last in most cities! Is this guy too young to remember phone booth vandalism?
Will it be necessary to tear up existing sidewalks and streets to install these? Is technology readily available for drilling down and then sideways to install power cables without having to demolish existing infrastructure? Did he say it takes four to eight hours (as opposed to 12 to 18 in other current products) to charge a car? If that is the case, there is no way these things can be installed on city streets. I see them as mainly being useful in parking lots for employees of large corporations. If we use standard grid electricity from fossil-fuel power plants for charging, how are we making any progress on global warming? What additional stress will we be placing on aging power plants and grids that are already subject to brown-outs, black-outs and selective outages on hot summer days?
Sure, the screen area is tilted to keep it clear of clutter like coffee cups or trash, but what about sticky bird droppings or just standard street dust? Who will clean these things off daily? Also, why does it need a ring of light on the top to let you know it's available? Doesn't an empty parking space in front of it signal that? Not a very well thought out design...
Job well done GE! This is truly great. WattStations are likely to pave the road for auto charging stations everywhere. I really would love to have an electric auto, but there's no way I will spend the cash on one when I am regularly traveling. As soon as they have a longer battery life and a faster charge, I might find this auto worth purchasing. If a business can come up with a way to supercharge one of these batteries in as little as an hour, these automobiles would fly off the shelves, and marketing would be good. I found this here: WattStation will charge electric cars using smart grid tech Think about it, if you pulled into a charge station at a Flying J and had to wait about an hour for it to charge, the probability of you purchasing things would go through the roof.
Sorry, the device looks like something a group of vandels would take delight in walking down a row of parked cars and smashing with a bat or a pipe,
I agree with the comments above. Most of the discussion Behar was couched in terms to sell the product as is, any sense of improvement or variability was not included. there are several cities all ready looking at and purchasing and installing charging stations for EV cars. West Palm Beach is an example.
Must agree with rellimike. He talked about integrating the device with the environment but gave no pertinent information.
Behar talks about the "human scale" of the device, but the design seems to exclude wheelchair users. Those other guys sitting on the stage are probably quite tall. But compare their eye level with the top of the charger. Sitting down, I seriously doubt they'd be able to read the display that seems to be on the top face of the charger. Now picture how much more difficult it would be for someone with a smaller build in a wheelchair.
If the "WattStation" is like a "parking meter", then will you be able to keep the costs of charging down? How much will the city or government charge an individual per charge? Will you be able to keep it theft free, and will it be able to use credit/debit/and/or cash? A good idea, worth noticing!