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USA: SAE Congress: GE charges up Nissan’s EV plans

Nissan and GE shared a booth at the SAE World Congress in Detroit recently to emphasize the way the two companies want to connects your car and various appliances to the emerging smart grid.

The common piece of equipment is the new WattStation, which is an electric vehicle charging station that – along with the companion piece of software called WattStation Connect – gives plug-in vehicle drivers “the ability to manage and set customer pricing for EV charging, provide access control at their facilities, generate valuable reports and engage with customers in new ways.” Some of those new ways include powering your home from your electric car, keeping track of electricity usage and having the charging stations (when used publicly) talk to navigation software to broadcast availability. Rental company Hertz was also involved in the development of the WattStation Connect software. You can see a video of the WattStation at the Congress down below.

Nissan was also proudly displaying a placard about the expansion of the CHAdeMO fast-charging protocol. It said that when the CHAdeMO association was established in March, 2010, there were just six CHAdeMO DC quick charger manufacturers, all of them Japanese, and only 192 chargers were installed globally. Two years later, at the end of March 2012, there are 33 manufacturers and 1,071 DC quick chargers installed around the world. Those are good numbers for the charging protocol, but a challenger is coming in the form of a new, eight-automaker-approved alternative fast-charging standard being unveiled at EVS26 this week. How these two options will battle it out in the coming years will be most interesting to watch.


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