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GE Charging Stations: Now You Can Pay With PayPal, SmartPhone

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GE WattStation Publicity Shot

GE WattStation Publicity Shot

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If you drive an electric car, you’ll be familiar with the frustration that occurs when you arrive at a charging station to find you can’t use it because you don’t have the correct smart card, key, or dongle.

For those without the correct card, some charging providers can unlock a charging station over the telephone using a credit card payment, but now GE has started to accept Paypal payments via smartphone. 

Using a free smartphone application called Wattstation Connect, users scan the QR code printed on each WattStation public charger.

The application then identifies where you are, calculates the correct tariff payable, and allows you to pay for your charging using a PayPal account. 

In addition, the smartphone app helps users locate available charging stations, as well as view any pricing information before they arrive. 

Wattstation Connect

Wattstation Connect

Enlarge Photo

By using PayPal, the system allows an extra level of security which means that instead of the user giving his or her bank or credit card details out over the telephone in a public place, they can simply pay using a secure smartphone app. 

Alongside the launch of the iPhone app, GE has launched a companion website which lets users check on the status of charging stations and find out about charging tariffs before they leave home. 

GE's Wattstation Connect is the latest in a line of ideas from charging station providers eager to get you to leave your charging station smart cards at home, but do you prefer pay-as-you-charge charging networks, or ones that require a membership card and monthly subscription to use? 

Or perhaps you’d rather see free, unrestricted charging stations?

Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below.

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Comments (11)
  1. I like the idea, PayPal is very easy to use.
     
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  2. @CDspeed: Your friendly site moderator here. As it turns out, "Paypal" is one of the words that triggers our spam filter. I went back, approved your comment, and deleted the rest of the discussion.

    Sorry 'bout that, but it happens now and then--no spam filtering system is perfect.
     
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  3. I thought it was the P word that did it. I completely understand, there are a few other car sites I like to keep up with and I have seen people post advertisements.
     
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  4. Why don't car manufacturers make multiple, standardized, removable batteries? This would allow "gas stations" to exchange depleted batteries with charged batteries for the cost of the electricity and save time.
     
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  5. Because electric cars don't run on Duracell C-cell batteries.
     
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  6. Has anyone else noticed that HomeDepot now accepts (the P-word) as payment at checkout? Very interesting.
     
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  7. Lol, yes I have noticed that they now accept the P-word.
     
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  8. Why can't it just take a credit card like a parking meter?
     
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  9. Nikki, The Wattstation locks like a good product. I looked all over the GE web site and still can not find where can I buy one of these and how much does it cost?
     
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  10. Forget the exact numbers, but the local charging stations available at Whole Foods etc... are subscriptions costing more than my entire monthly at home cost!
    NO THANKS.
     
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  11. I wonder if the public charging stations will have the same issue:

    http://www.hybridcars.com/news/ge-wattstation-chargers-suspected-nissan-leaf-charging-issues-48410.html
     
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