The new GE charging station for electric cars will fully charge a battery in four to eight hours–much faster than standard plug-in charging, which can take 18 hours. It allows two-way communication between stations and power companies, so that the utilities can minimize the vehicles’ demand on the grid. GE hopes that municipalities and green-building owners will install the chargers in parking areas and that electric-car owners will buy home versions for their garages.
Cost: $3,000 to $7,000
Availability: Now for commercial version; a residential version costing $1,000 to $1,500 will be announced later in 2010