July 20, 2011
| by Steven Castle
Ready to plug in your electric vehicle?
Lowe’s hardware stores will introduce the GE WattStation electric vehicle (EV) charger at five stores in California in August then increase availability to 60 total stores in September. The GE WattStation will also be available to consumers nationwide on Lowes.com in September.
The GE WattStation, a Level 2 EV charger, fully charges an electric car in just four to eight hours compared with standard overnight charging that can take as much as 12 to 14 hours. The wall-mount unit can be installed in an EV user’s garage or outdoors, operates on a 208-240VAC circuit and is designed to work within the EV ecosystem.
The compact wall-mounted GE WattStation measures 24 inches tall, 16 inches wide and 6 inches deep. It can be installed in new or existing construction, and can either be hardwired for more permanent installations or plugged into a NEMA 6-50 receptacle for simple removal.
Reports indicate that the EV charger will cost $1,000 plus installation.
Other companies offering EV chargers include Schneider Electric, Eaton, Siemens and Evantran. Pike Research has projected that sales of plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids could be more than 1 million a year globally by 2015.
EV chargers aren’t the only big green tech items being offered by the big box stores. The Home Depot is offering Southwest Windpower Skystream residential wind turbines in selected stores in California, Texas, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. A list of available stores is here. Lowe’s and the Home Depot are also offering solar power installations.
Southwest Windpower’s Skystream 3.7 wind turbine can be purchased through select Home Depot stores in the west.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates