GE’s WattStation Connect lets you charge your neighbor’s wheels and wallet

GE's WattStation Connect lets you charge your neighbor's wheels and wallet

Electric cars — and the charging stations that accompany them — aren’t cheap. On average you’re looking to spend more than $30,000 for an all-battery electric or plug-in hybrid, and anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000 for a charging station to be lovingly installed in your home. But if you’ve made the switch to electric, a new cloud-based program can start helping you earn back some of that scratch.

General Electric’s WattStation Connect is a software management program designed to accompany GE’s WattStation chargers. It’s similar to programs like Recargo and PlugShare, which allow owners to broadcast publicly the availability of their stations. WattStation Connect takes it one step further, though, by giving entrepreneurial EV owners the ability to charge people’s wallets as well as their cars.

Considering the majority of people like to make money, GE’s WattStation Connnect provides a wealth of opportunity, literally, by allowing owners to generate revenue from their charging station. Businesses can get in on the action too. In fact, if we had to come up with an appropriate comparison, the closest thing we can think of is an ATM. Much like an ATM coughs up the cash from transaction fess  for its owner/operator, the potential for the WattStation do the same is certainly there. All you need you is the space, the station, and you’re set. People simply roll up, charge up, and you get paid. Not too shabby, eh?

WattStation owners can charge by the hour, by the kilowatt hour, or even charge a flat fee. Pricing doesn’t have to be universal either. Business owners can get away with letting their employees charge for free, while others have to pay.

GE is even pairing the service with PayPal in order to collect payments and provide various reports for owners, like how much money the station has made each month. The system can be accessed remotely, informing you which plugs are currently in use (if you happen to own more than one) and whether or not they are in need of maintenance. But don’t worry, if you’re not keen on sharing your electric juice and letting strangers roll up your driveway you don’t have to.

With the EV charging infrastructure still pretty sparse, it’s great to see GE offering a dynamic solution to this burgeoning problem. The demand for adequate charging options outside of the home will only continue to increase as more and more EVs hit the road, making it essential for drivers to have consistent access to re-juice their ride. And hey, if you can make some money from it – even better.

While the GE’s WattStation Connect software might be sound, we see a glaring problem: because the station itself is a level 2 charger most vehicles will need to sit for multiple hours. We can’t imagine people being all too excited for some stranger to be parked in their driveway for half the afternoon, but maybe we’re wrong.

Deals

Save big on these Braun electric razors and women’s epilators

Amazon and Walmart are currently offering limited-time deals for Braun electric razors and women's epilators. If you plan to make your way through all the festive parties this year with fresh smooth these tools will help.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Apple’s first iPhone XR case lets you show off your handset’s color

Apple has released its first case for the iPhone XR. Costing $39, the case has a clear back so you can show off the color of your phone, whichever of the six options you went for.
Mobile

Want faster internet on the go? These companies will soon have 5G-ready phones

5G is the future of mobile internet, and you probably heard about the huge speed increases the new standard will bring. But not every phone will be capable of accessing 5G speeds. Here's every phone that supports 5G.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Cars

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
News

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.