GE recently introduced the GE WattStation, an electric vehicle (EV) charger designed to help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles. Significantly decreasing the time needed for vehicle charging, the GE WattStation uses Smart Grid technology, allowing electric utility companies to manage the impact of electric vehicles on the local and regional grids.

According to industrial designer Yves Behar, the GE WattStation decreases electric vehicle charging time, on average, from 12 hr to 18 hr to as little as 4 hr to 8 hr compared to standard charging “level 1”, assuming a full-cycle charge for a 24 kWh battery. Plus, it integrates into the urban landscape, becoming a natural part of the daily driving routine. GE WattStation will be commercially available globally in 2011, and the company unveil a specialized home version of the charger later this year.

In addition to the GE WattStation, GE recently announced two new partnerships to advance electric vehicle adoption. In April 2010, Project Get Ready, a non-profit initiative led by Rocky Mountain Institute to help communities prepare for electric vehicles, named GE a technical advisor focusing on design and planning of the local and regional electric grids for electric vehicles. In May 2010, GE Global Research and Nissan signed a separate three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore new technologies that are needed to build a reliable, dynamic smart-charging infrastructure.

For more information on the GE WattStation, including preorder details, visit the company’s website.