GE to Place Charging Stations at University

They will be used by students and researchers working on electric-powered technology and to recharge university-operated electric vehicles.

General Electric has reached an agreement with Purdue University to place up to 10 of its new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on campus beginning by the end of year.

Designed to recharge electric-powered vehicles quickly and easily, the GE EV charging stations will be used by various classes and researchers working on electric-powered technology and to recharge university-operated electric vehicles.

"Purdue is the perfect spot for the charging stations," said James Caruthers, a professor of chemical engineering and director of the Indiana Advanced Electric Vehicle Training and Education Consortium. "The stations will give our students real-world charging capabilities, and our students will give the stations a real-world workout."

"We’re proud to work with Purdue to provide our ahead-of-the-curve electrical vehicle charging station," said Tony Denhart, GE senior services manager and Purdue campus relations leader. "The use of this exciting technology continues to strengthen our longstanding partnership with Purdue."

Funded by a $6.1 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, the consortium includes Purdue, Notre Dame University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue University Calumet and Indiana University Northwest.

The consortium develops curricula for vehicle technicians, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for electric vehicle design and manufacturing engineers, and a certificate program in electric vehicle safety for emergency responders. It also is developing an outreach program to secondary schools and a resource-driven public website about electric vehicles.

Last spring, the consortium’s first class of students built electric-powered karts and held a grand prix race at Purdue.

GE unveiled the EV charging station in July and said it would be piloted this year at commercial sites, along with Purdue and the University of California San Diego.

GE says the EV charging station, used either indoors or outdoors and mounted on a wall or a pedestal, decreases the time needed for recharging an electric vehicle from as long as 12-18 hours to as short as four to eight hours.

The charging station also is designed to allow utility companies to implement a "smart" electrical distribution system to manage the impact of electric vehicles on local and regional power grids.